Guwahati: As Darjeeling continues to be on the edge over the protests, demanding a separate ‘Gorkhaland’ of the Nepali speaking people of the region, Assam Rifles have arrested two alleged terrorists belonging to the Gorkha Liberation Army (GLA), from the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
In a joint operation with the Assam Police, the Jairampur Battalion of Assam Rifles arrested a self-styled Lieutenant Babu Konwar alias Babu Gogoi of GLA on Monday evening. According to Assam Rifles, after initial interrogation, Konwar admitted that he was responsible for extorting money from local people.
This is the second apprehension of a senior GLA cadre from this area within a week and is an indicator that the underground outfit is trying to increase its activity. The other nabbed terrorist was identified as self-styled Lieutenant Rajesh Lama alias Ganesh Rai of GLA. A 9mm pistol was recovered from his possession.
Kohima-based Defence PRO Chiranjeet Konwar said, “Post spot interrogation, he admitted allegiance to GLA, divulging that he had undergone training in a NSCN Camps and had come here for collection of money & extortion and to increase influence of GLA in the region.”
The arrests come at a time when Gorkhaland protest is at its peak in Darjeeling, while allegations and counter allegations are flying thick and fast on the issue.
The links between GLA and the other terrorist groups in North East came to fore in 2014 when an arrested operative revealed that 15 Gorkhaland Personnel (GLP, a voluntary force affiliated to the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha) had undergone 14-day arms training in Nagaland in 2013 with the intention of launching an armed movement for separate Gorkhaland state under the banner of GLA. GLA is suspected to be a breakaway faction of erstwhile United Gorkha Revolutionary Front.