Obsession with social networking can be a giveaway, more so if you are the chief of a rebel outfit. Facebook addiction is believed to have done former police officer turned rebel leader Champion Sangma in.
Chairman of the Meghalaya-based Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Sangma is reportedly in Mymensingh Central Jail in Bangladesh, where he was arrested on November 24. There is no official confirmation of his incarceration.
According to intelligence officials in Meghalaya, Sangma was almost always logged on to Facebook, updating his profile, writing on walls or tagging people. He had also posted his pictures, besides those of his cadre, from undisclosed locations.
“He was using the social networking site to upload everything, and it was a matter of time before his URL was found indicating the area from where he was operating,” a senior intelligence officer said. A URL is the unique address for a file on the Internet.
Indian officials subsequently tipped off their Bangladesh counterparts to help them zero in on Sangma, who formed the GNLA in 2009 after deserting the Meghalaya Police where he was a deputy superintendent.
The intelligence officer said Sangma was produced in a court in Mymensingh town two days after his arrest and was sent to jail for being a ‘terrorist’.
Sangma, surprisingly, did not try to conceal his identity as the GNLA chief. “The GNLA leader was apparently homesick and missed the people belonging to his (Garo) tribe. This could have led him to be in touch with friends through Facebook,” the officer said.
The GNLA is fighting for self-rule for Garos through a sovereign Garoland in the western areas of Meghalaya where the tribe is a majority.