GNLA Vs Police – the battle rages on; How to nip the problem in the bud?
-By Christopher Gatphoh
August 4, 2017: David Kilcullen a senior counter-insurgency advisor to General David Petraeus in 2007 and 2008 said that counter insurgency is a competition between two sides and the 'people' is the prize during any counter insurgency campaign.
Garo National Liberation Council (GNLA) has suffered huge amount of setback during the last few months, statistically speaking the number of cadres (27) seems to have remained more or less the same since last year.
Earlier last year, three surrendered cadres of the outfit had also mentioned that GNLA is on its last legs and have only about 27 members left. Virtual selfie self styled chief Sohan D Shira is playing a 'cat and mouse' game with security forces.
It is not my intended purpose to relate either the police or the GNLA to the Biblical legend David and the giant Goliath but the story drawn from the Bible about how David slew the giant Goliath can be referred in this context and it would be interesting to see if the government is going on the same path straight (hit the target where it's most vulnerable) in dealing with the last few members of this group.
A leading English daily while speaking exclusively with security advisor of the Government of Meghalaya Rajiv Mehta who said that GNLA is dwindling in numbers and it is just a matter of time that they would vanish in thin air.
"I simply want amalgamation and integration of our personnel to take on the terrorists. The new boys will hopefully live up to that objective," the daily quoted. The same newspaper also reported on the Meghalaya Police Special Force 10 known as (SF-10) which is set to add more punch.
LEARNING THE ART OF WAR
While 66% of the second batch of SF-10 have been provided special commando training, the remaining have been trained to handle law and order situation, Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) Swaraj Bir Singh told this english daily.
Meghalaya Police counter insurgency strategy to hit the outfit turned into a fiasco with the latest being the death of a 50-year-old civilian on allegations of being a 'police informant'.
Counter insurgency strategies are not always about defeating the enemy straight on, it is an art of war mastered only through experience and cultural awareness.
GNLA are a bunch of criminals who are threatening the population by subverting the minds of the people through intimidation but so also the 'carrot and stick' approach should be followed by the present government.
NIP THE PROBLEM IN THE BUD
The major chunk in the armour is still the rehabilitation process which is a deemed failure once again, this is an open corridor for many young men and women who in search of employment will find this as an easy way and join many offshoot groups in the future.
Peace parleys with an organisation is another aspect of what the Union and State governments should be looking seriously but after which there should be total shutdown from the other side (rebels).
PEOPLE' FRIENDLY APPROACH IS ALL IT TAKES
Special Force 10, Special Weapons and Tactics Team(SWAT), Special Operation Team(SOT) are doing a fine job to cut down the rebel force numbers but at the end of the day it is basic necessary requirements of the people which are needed like roads, food, medicines etc.
It is a known fact that if people are denied their basic necessities, then it is obvious that they will turn to other sources like the outfits which supposedly consider themselves as 'liberators' or 'Robin hood'. So if the government is to win the war, it has to take into consideration the requirements of the people and make its presence felt in the form of security, safety, development, education, and the likes.
Not denying that the state police has taken some initiatives to connect with the public, to spread awareness and to highlight the dampen state of affairs if one joins any militant groups.
TAKING THE BATTLE TO THEM
The government should train Special Forces to learn the art of cultural ethnography. Future operations with GNLA or splinter groups need not be only on the jungles but on the virtual front.
Psychological analysis of the enemy is important (If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles- Sun Tzu).
Whether GNLA, ULFA (I), NSCN-K the ability to outmanoeuvre the enemy is shaping the battlefield through the enemy's eyes and not to forget that the people should be the centre of gravity.
With inputs from The Sentinel
The writer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
DISCLAIMER: The opinion expressed in the article are the writer's own and TNT-the Northeast Today may not subscribe to the same views