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GNLA kills 4 cops, 1 civilian

Rebels take away five automatic weapons lCM announces ex-gratia of  Rs7.5 lakh

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: In a daring attack on security forces in Garo Hills, heavily armed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants ambushed a police patrol at Dobu area of East Garo Hills district killing four policemen and a civilian driver before decamping with five automatic rifles on Monday afternoon.

As many as 12 to 15 heavily armed GNLA militants ambushed a private vehicle (ML-09-A- 0958) that was carrying six policemen on patrol duty from two sides at Nengpatchi village, 4 kms from Dobu towards Darugre police station of Rongjeng, at around 4:30pm.

The ambush took place 45 kms from Williamnagar town.

The militants opened heavy fire from their jungle hideout on the vehicle killing the driver and four policemen on the spot.

Two other police personnel survived the attack with bullet injuries.

After the firing had stopped, the GNLA militants came out and took away 2 AK-47 rifles, 2 SLR rifles and a semi automatic carbine along with a huge cache of assorted ammunition from the slain police personnel.

The group was allegedly led by GNLA central area commander Rakkam Marak and former police constable Savio Ch Marak who happens to be the area commander of West Khasi Hills.

The deceased policemen are N R Marak (Constable), Probinson Sangma (Havildar), Victor Marak (Havildar), E Sangma (Battalion Constable).

Two police personnel who survived the attack with bullet injuries have been identified as Peter Sangma and D Sangma (both Battalion Constable).

Both have been shifted to Tura Civil Hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma has announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs7.5 lakh to be given to the next of kin of the deceased on priority.

Condemning the incident, Dr Sangma said the Government would not rest until the perpetrators of this heartless act were apprehended and dealt with a firm hand in accordance with the law.

Standard precautions not taken: Meanwhile, senior police officials believe that the men who were attacked on Monday afternoon had apparently failed to follow the basic tactics of protection during their operational duty.

“It was a known fact that the August 9th killing of Deputy Central Commander Roster Marak and three others at the hands of SWAT commandos and the subsequent killing of another deputy area commander Dilseng Marak alias Basish on October 18 was bound to push the GNLA to take revenge,” said a senior police official.

He believed that police teams ought to have been more vigilant particularly more so since a similar ambush on a vehicle had taken place in the month of July at Tapa Darenchi, near Mendipather leading to the death of three police personnel. The Dobu anti-dacoity camp of the state police was also attacked by GNLA militants in July.

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