Jewel Garlossa, chief of one of the most dreaded insurgent groups of the Northeast, the Dima Halam Daogah (Jewel faction) or Black Widow, was arrested in Bangalore on Wednesday night, Assam police revealed on Thursday.
In a joint operation of the Assam and Karnataka police, who had been tipped off by the army and the National Investigation Agency, Garlossa was cornered at a guesthouse on the outskirts of the town.
“It is a big setback for the insurgent group,” said Khagen Sarma, Assam’s additional director of police (Special Branch) while briefing the press.
No personal details are yet known about Garlossa barring his name, and the police too were reluctant to reveal any. Sarma said Garlossa had been directing the Black Widow’s operations from foreign shores, mainly Nepal, Thailand and Singapore.
“He flew in very recently from a foreign country,” said Sarma, refusing to specify which one. “We had information about his movements.”
Intelligence sources said Garlossa had lately spent much time in Nagore in Nepal, around 40 km north of Kathmandu, which was fast becoming a hub for Indian militant groups.
Black Widow has its genesis in the Dimasa National Security Force (DNSF) an insurgent outfit formed two decades ago, claiming to protect the Dimasas, the biggest tribe in Assam’s North Cachar Hills district, 300 km southeast of Guwahati, in the face of increasing entry of outsiders into the district. The DNSF surrendered in 1995 but some activists, led by
Garlossa and one Dilip Nunisa rejected the surrender and formed the Dima Halam Daogah.
Garlossa broke with Nunisa and formed the DHD (Jewel) after Nunisa too worked out a ceasefire with the Indian government in January 2004.