Four ANVC-B ultras gunned down, huge cache of weapons seized

Low intensity blast near Tura petrol pump, no casualty

Two vehicles sustain damages in crude bomb attack outside the premises of AOC petrol pump in Hawakhana, Tura in West Garo Hills on Saturday evening. (ST)

TURA: Just hours after a crude bomb attack next to a petrol station in the heart of Tura allegedly orchestrated by suspected ANVC-B militants, police commandos have shot dead four militants of the group in a major gun battle that took place between Dobasipara and Darenggre village on the outskirts of Tura town late Saturday night.
The site of the encounter falls under Dobasipara police beat house jurisdiction on the road to Kherapara.
Highly placed police sources have revealed that SWAT commando teams were pursuing those involved in Saturday evening’s bomb attack near the AOC petrol pump in Hawakahana, Tura, when they came upon the heavily armed group of ultras who were holed up in a makeshift jungle hideout barely 500 meters from the main road.
The massive exchange of gun fire between the two sides is said to have lasted close to an hour with the night sky lighting up from explosions caused by grenades and automatic weapons.
In the encounter four militants were gunned down while several others of the group fled into the darkness.
The militants are said to have abandoned a huge cache of weapons and explosives behind following the encounter.
“There are a large number of weapons strewn across the hideout and these include IEDs, rockets, pistols, automatic rifles and even bows and arrows. All four militants who were killed belong to the ANVC-B outfit,” said one of the police officers from the site of the encounter.
Another government official said that most of the ANVC-B militants who fled their Edenbari camp after a firing incident which left two police officers injured had taken shelter in the jungle hideout to escape security forces.
The same group has been accused of lobbing the crude bomb next to the petrol pump on Saturday evening damaging two parked vehicles. No one was injured in the attack.
The incident took place at approximately 5:30 in the evening during peak rush hour when the petrol station is usually packed with vehicles coming in for fuel.
Fortunately, the cold and windy conditions forced commuters to stay indoors to beat the chill and there were no casualties.
The crude bomb was thrown next to two vehicles parked on the opposite side of the petrol pump which connects to a short cut that leads down towards Mission Compound locality.
The explosion caused a deafening sound and its reverberation could be heard for miles with locals from as far as Araimile calling up this media house to enquire about the blast sound.
The blast shattered the glass panels of a Maruti car (WB02-J 7598) and punctured the rear left tyre besides sending shrapnel through the vehicle’s left door.
A second vehicle, a Tata Indigo Manza (AS-19-D 6040) that was parked just behind the Maruti car also sustained damage from the blast. Its windows on the left side were shattered and its windshield damaged while the body bore marks from the explosion.
“We have collected evidence from the blast site and are taking necessary steps to bring the culprits to book. It is too early to say whether it was the handiwork of militants or miscreants but everything will be known in a day or two,” said West Garo Hills police chief Mukesh Kr Singh, who also visited the site of the bomb attack on Saturday evening.
As news of the blast spread through the town, traders downed their shutters and people rushed home leaving the roads of town deserted.