2 GNLA militants killed
From Our Correspondent
TURA: The proscribed militant outfit Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has suffered a major casualty following the killing of two if its senior cadres by a joint operation team of the Army and the Garo Hills Police in Kharkutta on late Saturday and Sunday morning.
A Special Operations Team (SOT) together with Mendipather Police of East Garo Hills and army troops stationed in Paikan area of Assam came across a group of GNLA militants deep inside the jungles of Kharkutta area.
Based on intelligence reports that a group of GNLA militants would be returning through the said route after releasing a coal merchant of Shallang area in West Khasi Hills, the security forces were preparing to lay a trap when seven well armed GNLA militants suddenly appeared from the thick undergrowth in pitch dark in Amerim Hill shortly after 12:30 am.
A heavy exchange of fire took place between both sides with security forces retaliating to the indiscriminate firing by the militants. In the ensuing encounter two militants, including the leader of the group, were shot dead while the rest escaped.
Police recovered one M20 pistol, a .673 calibre Chinese pistol, two hand grenades, photos, several mobile phones and photos of the abducted coal merchant from Shallang.
The dead militants have been identified as senior GNLA member Patrick Marak who goes by the name of Jong and Janggam in the GNLA circle. He hailed from Mangsang area of East Garo Hills. The other has been identified as Sengbat Sangma of Upper Watregre village under Raksamgre region of Dadenggre in West Garo Hills. It is believed that the group of seven militants was returning after escorting the coal merchant back to Shallang for his release. The militants had reportedly obtained Rs 10 lakh from the family of the merchant for his safe release. During the encounter, one of the militants was spotted carrying a large camouflage bag believed to contain the ransom money.
Source: The Shillong Times