‘Garo ultras using SIM cards of other NE states’

TURA: Armed militants and criminals in Meghalaya particularly in Garo Hills are using pre-activated SIM cards originating from other NE states like Nagaland, Manipur and Tripura.
This was revealed by a senior police official on Tuesday.
The matter came to light after the police detained a young man who appeared for the post of jail warder at Tura in West Garo Hills district from whom police seized 60 unauthorised SIM cards, the police official said.
While a case was registered against the man identified as Blutcher Sangma, police claimed the the SIM cards were meant to be delivered to the outlawed GNLA.
The issue was discussed at a high-level security  meeting at Tura chaired by Meghalaya DGP Rajiv Mehta.
During the meeting it was pointed out that both criminals and militant groups have been extensively using pre-activated SIM  cards.
Militants and criminals alike have been using these pre-activated SIM cards to call up the families of their victims kidnapped at gunpoint to demand for ransom money making it difficult for security agencies to zero in on them.
“We are building a mechanism to contain this menace,” said a police official who took part in the high-level security meet.The performance of each district force in counter-insurgency operations, the number of kidnapping cases, availability of security forces in each district and its effective use were discussed during the meeting.
Mehta directed the district police chiefs to prepare “crime maps” indicating “hot spots” in each district that are highly prone to kidnappings and extortions by militants and criminals alike.
“Special preventive policing steps are being initiated in these crime prone hot spots to dominate and deny opportunity for the militants and criminals,” stated Meghalaya police officials. Meanwhile, Meghalaya police have decided to provide armed escort in all vulnerable routes along the national and state highways passing through the Garo Hills districts in which all private vehicle users would be pooled into a convoy system and provided the escort to their destinations to check abductions. (With inputs from PTI)

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