Huge cache of arms recovered

GNLA ‘deputy chief’, 3 others gunned down

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: East Garo Hills police achieved a major breakthrough in its fight against insurgency with the killing of four senior Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants, including its ‘deputy army chief’ late Monday night near Williamnagar town.

The operation was conducted exclusively by an elite team of the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) of the State Police.

Four militants were killed while one police commando sustained bullet injury on both his hands.

Based on intelligence inputs about the presence of a group of hardcore militants at Bolkingre forest, 2 kms from Williamnagar, the SWAT commandos crossed the Simsang river shortly after 12:30 am of Monday.

They were met with heavy resistance from a group of six heavily armed militants who bogged down the SWAT team with continuous gunfire.

The encounter lasted for close to an hour and resulted in the death of four militants while two others escaped with arms.

Among the dead was ‘deputy c-in-c’ Roster Marak alias Kagrim, Henithson R Sangma alias Jarongpang, Peter Momin alias Bruno and Jekyll Marak. Two other militants who escaped have been identified as Darwin D Shira and Bilgrim M Sangma.

From the site of the encounter police recovered one AK-81 rifle with 2 magazines, a grenade launcher with five live grenades, a powerful MKS rifle of 5.56 calibre, Chinese M20 pistol, five Chinese hand grenades, two large army grenades, one cylindrical grenade and 332 number of assorted ammunition including Insas, MKS, sniper and .32 calibre bullets.

GNLA’s central command destroyed

The killing of four senior cadres of the GNLA has broken the central command of the outfit which was personally looked after by its ‘army chief’ Sohan D Shira.

A former police constable and close confidante of Sohan, Roster Marak, was in charge of the central command which looked after the entire operational command of the outfit. His killing at the hands of SWAT commandos is bound to have major impact on the outfit.

Roster was made ‘deputy army chief’ along with another police constable Rupanto Marak alias Thoding Ch Marak by Sohan himself. Both were highly trained and dedicated. Roster was known to be a cold-blooded killer and police had blamed him for the merciless killing of a deranged man outside the ANVC liaison office in Williamnagar a month ago.

While Roster and two others hailed from Bolkingre village itself, Henithson R Sangma alias Jaraongpang hailed from Kusimkolgre locality of Williamnagar, police informed.

Red alert sounded in police stations: Following the killing of the four GNLA militants and destroying of its central command, police have sounded a red alert to all its police stations and outposts in the three districts of West Garo Hills over fear of possible retaliation.

IGP (Western Range) GHP Raju, overseeing the anti-insurgency operations in Garo Hills, informed that alert has been sounded to thwart any possible retaliatory attacks by the GNLA.

“Our police force is in full preparation to take on any eventuality and we have kept our forces on standby,” Raju said.

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