Major breakthrough in Garo Hills peace process

ASAK chief, cadres surrender

The ASAK rebels including its chief Reding T Sangma (C) who surrendered
before South Garo Hills police in Baghmara on Thursday afternoon. (ST)

TURA: An irritant for security forces and civil society alike, capable of truant and subterfuge, the A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) militant group that operated from the forested region of South Garo Hills has finally called it a day.
The entire rebel group, led by its chief Reding T. Sangma, a former Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) commander, surrendered on Thursday afternoon at Baghmara town before new SP Abraham T. Sangma. A magistrate, church elders and members of the peace forum and NGOs were also present when the ASAK cadres surrendered.
The group of rebels comprises five militants and three over-ground workers.
The surrender was the result of sustained police operations. Church leaders and members of the Peace Forum and NGOs also played a key role in facilitating the rebels to give up their armed struggle.
The ASAK outfit, including its chief Reding (37), was wanted for the abduction and murder of a young central intelligence official and a cloth merchant in September 2015.
The group is blamed for a series of mass kidnappings of petty traders from weekly markets, truck and bus drivers, including the most recent abduction of seven employees of a limestone quarry in Sangkini Dapgre village of Chokpot, last month. Reding alias Saljapang hails from Mindikgre village of South Garo Hills. He surrendered a German made Heckler and Koch automatic rifle with 128 live rounds, three single barrel shotguns (SBBL), four walkie-talkie communication handsets and 22 electronic detonators and explosive powder.
The other cadres who surrendered along with Reding are Tengrang A. Sangma alias Gring (18), Seldom K. Sangma alias Jorai (25) and Pintu R. Marak alias Waira (19), all three belonging to Bolkingre Williamnagar and Kiljang M Sangma alias Amrak (17) of Rongmasu South Garo Hills.
The over-ground workers of the group are Hame Ch Marak (25), Biani Ch Marak (28) and Tengman M. Sangma (28).