UALA chairman’s arrest: Will peace prevail in Garo Hills?

SHILLONG: Though one of the most wanted militants, self-styled chairman of United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA) Chiindik Marak, is in the police net, but the question remains whether peace could be ushered in Garo Hills despite the arrest.

Similar was the case when police had managed to arrest GNLA chairman Champion Sangma, who is still lodged in Shillong Jail, but there has been no let up in the unlawful activities of GNLA since Sohan D Shira is now controlling the affairs of the outfit.

Though Chiindik Marak has been arrested, the outfit’s commander-in-chief – Singbirth Marak alias Norrok X Momin – is still free and there is every possibility that the UALA would continue with its activities in Garo Hills, as has been the case with the GNLA. On Sunday, a police team brought Chiindik Marak to Tura from Guwahati for interrogation.

Marak had undergone surgery in a Guwahati-based hospital, and had registered himself as a patient in the name of Novembirth Marak, hailing from a locality in Tura.

Marak is wanted by the Meghalaya Police in the killing of two Meghalaya jail officials at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills in 2010. He is also a wanted man in Assam for having masterminded the killing of seven Rabha tribesmen and injuring nine others at Gendabari village in Assam’s Goalpara district during Diwali last year.

Marak, a former self-styled general secretary of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) joined the UALA in October, 2013 after it was floated by Norrok X Momin, a former cadre of the ANVC-B, in February, 2013.

Following his release from preventive detention last year, Marak joined Norrok and became the chairman of the outfit which boasts of a strength of around 40 cadres.

In April, 2010, he escaped with injuries during an encounter with police at Bolchugre in East Garo Hills.

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