GNLA’s Champion gets bail

GNLA chairman Champion R. Sangma smiles as he exits the court premises in the city on Tuesday. (ST)

SHILLONG: The chairman of the Garo National Liberation Army, Champion Sangma, was granted bail by a lower court on Tuesday, more than four years after his arrest from an area near Indo-Bangladesh border on July 30, 2012.
Sangma would walk out of Shillong jail after family members submit the bond amount of Rs 1 lakh in a couple of days, his lawyer Sujit Dey told media persons   after the order of the District and Sessions Court.
However, this could be a temporary breather for the rebel, who cannot leave the jurisdiction of the court and has to attend the trial.
“The case would be disposed of by the lower court in 10-12 days”, Dey said.
The GNLA chairman was booked under the Meghalaya Prevention of Detention Act (MPDA) by the district administration of East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills. “But the cases were set aside by the High Court and the Supreme Court since the courts found that certain procedures were not followed and that the detention authority did not comply with the basic norms of the MPDA Act,” Dey said.
Subsequently, the High Court on February 14 directed the lower court to dispose of the case in 20 days.
Dey said Sangma would be shifted to Civil Hospital since he has some medical complications.
Sangma, who is a former cop, was dismissed from police services after he floated the GNLA, which was outlawed in 2012.
Despite the arrest of Sangma, the outfit continued functioning in the Garo Hills and is recently run by Sohan D. Shira.