Two top GNLA leaders and a cadre surrendered along with huge cache of arms on Saturday before the Meghalaya police.
The two GNLA ‘Area Commanders’, Gabriel D Shira alias Darwin and Walsrang Ch Sangma alias Dalton along with a cadre identified as Sembath D Shira alias Tutim surrendered at the police headquarters here in the city.
"Three GNLA cadres have surrendered today of which two are important and senior members and one is a normal cadre," Director General of Police (DGP) Rajiv Mehta told newsmen.
While Darwin was the in-charge of West Khasi Hills, Dalton was looking after the outfit’s operations in Dadenggre area in West Garo Hills District.
One HK rifle with 40 rounds of ammunition, carbine with 75 rounds of ammunition, 3 rounds of AK ammunition, one carbine with 7 rounds of ammunition, pistol with 7 rounds were deposited by the GNLA cadre before the police besides 4 mobile handsets with SIM cards and money receipts.
Both surrendered leaders belonged to the 2010 batch of the GNLA and they are from Williamnagar, East Garo Hills District.
Tutim, who hails from Zik Zak, Paglapara in South West Garo Hills District had joined the GNLA in 2012.
Welcoming the surrendered cadres, Mehta said, "For me on a personal front and for the Meghalaya police, it is extremely important that cadre of the GNLA are shunning violence and coming back to mainstream."
"If more and more can come, if they can see logic and reasons and shun violence and come to the mainstream, it is the best for all the people of the state," he said.
Additional DGP SK Jain said, "They (cadres) have come on their own… may be due to the operations in Garo Hills region or (due to) their own problems within the organization or some inspiration have led them to surrender before the authority."
He said intelligence inputs clearly indicated that when some organizations came to know that some of these are likely to surrender very soon, they made overtures to these cadre to sell their weapons and offered them money.
"But they decided to come with weapons rather than making some quick money before deserting their organization," Jain said.
Speaking to reporters, all the three surrendered persons said that the reason behind their decision to give up arms is because of the outfit’s lack of ideology.
Darwin and Dalton added, "Whatever money they have collected from extortion and demand notes, goes to the higher ups and there was not a single general meeting called."
The GNLA which has been banned for its unlawful activities in the Garo Hills region bore the brunt of counter insurgency operation of the police codenamed Hill Storm operation.
Launched in the first week of July last year, Operation Hill Storm is yielding results with many camps of the GNLA busted in the jungle besides several cadres getting arrested and surrendering.
The GNLA was considered a militant outfit and banned by the Centre in 2012.