Militant groups and small criminal gangs operating in the Garo Hills region in Meghalaya have been hit the hardest following demonetization, the police informed. Suddenly, there is an unusual silence and there is no report of any kind of kidnapping and extortion, all because of the demonetization effect which has become a boon for small time traders, businessmen and even farmers, they said.
‘It gave them no way to push the money back into the banking system given that deposits are being fully monitored by all teams, including Income Tax, police and the like. Militancy has been suppressed by the sudden announcement of the Prime Minister,’ said South Garo Hills (SGH) Police Chief, Anand Mishra. South and East Garo Hills are both known as militant hotbeds with the dense forest cover of Durama Hills providing natural shelter for them.
The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and ASAK groups are the most active in the region and have been at the heart of all militant activities in the region, though splinter groups have also done their bit.
It is widely suspected that more than 500 crores lies in the hands of militant groups, mostly with the GNLA ‘This is a big blow for them as they have to bring out the money they stashed but can’t for fear of exposure. We are also keeping a very close tab on amounts being deposited and have identified dozens of sympathisers and over ground workers of the group. Come January and we may fall short of jail space,’ added SP Mishra.
Meanwhile, banks in all districts have been asked to provide information on suspicious deposits as was confirmed by banks when contacted.