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No breakthrough in ASAK abduction

Cement production hit in GH

TURA: Export of limestone from South Garo Hills to the cement plant at Damas in North Garo Hills and the subsequent production at Virgo cement factory have been affected by Tuesday’s abduction of seven workers of a quarry that supplied the mineral to the company.
There was no movement of vehicles carrying limestone from Chokpot to Damas since Tuesday morning. This could lead to a slump in production and financial loss.
Virgo cement has a large market in the North East, including Garo Hills, though it faces stiff competition from other cement brands in the Khasi-Jaintia region and bigger companies from the mainland.
Seven quarry workers, six of whom are lorry drivers, were abducted early on Tuesday morning by suspected ASAK rebels. However, there has been no breakthrough in the case so far.
Garo Hills police have zeroed in on the ASAK outfit for the mass abduction and search operations are on in the dense forests of the remote region.     Police said earlier the quarry workers used to stay at Sangkini-Dabgre village where villagers would provide them shelter every night.
It was only recently that the drivers decided to sleep at the quarry site over worries about theft of the trucks and mechanical equipment.
The handiwork of the GNLA has been ruled out by police as intelligence reports have indicated that the banned outfit is laying more emphasis on the coal belt region of Nangalbibra and Dobu in South Garo Hills.
A unit of the GNLA lead by commander Kamdak, who had previously been deputed to Chokpot has reportedly been sighted in the East Garo Hills-West Khasi Hills border belt leaving just the ASAK outfit, headed by former GNLA commander Reding T. Sangma, on the suspects’ list.
Sangma is wanted for the murder of a central intelligence officer in Rongara area, besides several other murder and kidnapping cases.

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