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Police hawk eyes on rebel groups’ cash pool in GH

SHILLONG: The State police are keeping a close watch on the activities of GNLA chief Sohan D Shira and other leaders and cadres of various militant groups operating in Meghalaya following the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
DGP SB Singh said on Wednesday that the cash transactions of the militants, if any, will be under close watch.
“We are also examining whether the militants will use the so-called over ground workers to deposit money amassed by their leaders, including Sohan Shira,” the DGP said.
There are police reports that the GNLA leader used to keep cash hidden in water tanks in his hideout.
According to police, Sohan had amassed crores of rupees by himself and this forced many cadres, who are unhappy with the style and functioning of the GNLA leader, to desert the outfit.
Recently, the police had zeroed in on the brother-in-law of Sohan and recovered some cash, but after the raid he absconded.
The police chief believes that with the Centre’s move to check currency transaction, there will be a control on extortion activities by militants as traders and others will not be able to pay due to shortage of cash.
To a question in the context of less cash in hand, Singh said that those who resort to digital fund transfer to militant groups will also be brought under the scanner of the police and other government agencies concerned.
A senior police official from Garo Hills said there were instances in the past when outfits used to demand Rs 1,000 denominations from the victims for their convenience as the currency can be easily hidden.
South Garo Hills SP Anand Mishra said after the announcement of the Prime Minister to restrict cash transactions, there was not a single case of kidnapping in the district. He hoped the extortion money accumulated by the militant leaders for carrying out business activities will go waste.
When asked about the impact of the Centre’s decision on militants, former ANVC-B chief Bernard Marak said there are chances that the money that the militants have will perish.

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