Garo rebel outfit ‘sentences’ Congress legislator to death

Shillong, May 20 (IANS) The outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has again threatened to kill Meghalaya Congress legislator Limison D. Sangma for not complying with their extortion demands, police said Monday.

“We have been informed by the legislator that the GNLA has issued a ‘death penalty’ for not complying with their extortion demands,” Mukesh Kumar Singh, the district police chief of West Garo Hills, told IANS.

In a text message to Sangma, the GNLA North Zone “area commander” P.D. Shira stated that the outfit declared that Sangma has been “awarded” the “death penalty” or that he should “compensate for the loss” by paying an amount of Rs.2 lakh.

“You (Sangma) had intentionally insulted and tarnished the image of the GNLA, in general, and our cadre Rangdat, and thereby committed an offence punishable under the various sections of GNLA penal code and within my cognizance,” Shira stated in the text message.

Earlier, Sangma had received a text message in which the GNLA allegedly demanded Rs.5 lakh, and if not paid they would kidnap and kill him.

Though, the tribal Garo outfit denied sending the text message, Sangma, however, said it was the GNLA which had made the demand.

“It is the GNLA. They sent such demand notices twice – for Rs.10 lakh in May and Rs.50 lakh in October last year, and they demanded Rs.7 lakh over phone during the assembly elections,” Sangma said.

“I have informed police about the GNLA making extortion demands. I hope they bring them to book,” the Congress legislator said.

Intelligence officials said the outlawed GNLA had slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on petrol vend owners, coal dealers and businessmen in the coal-rich districts of Garo Hills in the western part of Meghalaya.

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