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Tura: The West Garo Hills police on Sunday apprehended three persons on charges of spreading ‘rumours’ on social media concerning the regrouping of the proscribed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), quashing the controversial claims.

As per reports, a WhatsApp message on Saturday announced Jingjang D. Shira as the new Chief Executive Director of GNLA and alleged that 500 recruits were undergoing training in Rengdim, located in the West Khasi Hills bordering East Garo Hills and South Garo Hills districts. One of the images shared with the post even claimed Nengsrang Sangma as the new GNLA secretary and second in-charge.

Following the controversial viral message, the police promptly initiated a counter–insurgency operation. On their way to Darangagre village, the police were informed by Kherapara Outpost that the three culprits spreading the message have surrendered.

After interrogation, the police searched the residence of Namchang Ch Momin, also known as Jingjang D Shira, where they seized various incriminating materials such as camouflage uniforms and boots.

22-year-old Namchang Ch Momin aka Jingjang D Shira hailing from Darangagre, 26-year-old Adot M Sangma from Ganipara and 26-year-old Silwit R Marak from Nalnapara were arrested by the police in connection with the viral social media message. All three hail from villages under Dalu PS in West Garo Hills.

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It was confirmed during interrogation that there was no revival of the defunct GNLA and that the three arrested individuals allegedly spread the viral message to instil fear and extort money from businessmen. The police said that further investigation is underway to nab others involved in the case, if any.

Meanwhile, requesting public support regarding information about incidents of insurgency, the police said, “We will act on all such information and suitably reward the person giving information without disclosing his/her identity.”

Also Read | Meghalaya: ‘Cheap stunt’ or is the GNLA really regrouping?

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