Gone in 24 hours!
TURA: A major security breach took place inside Mendipather police station of North Garo Hills when a self-styled militant chief and his aide, arrested in Assam a day earlier for a recent shooting of a cop, escaped from the station lock up after attacking the lone unarmed guard on Monday morning.
Wanted criminal and head of the kidnappers gang A’chik National Cooperative Army (ANCA), William A Sangma, along with his follower Jiten Lyngdoh were arrested from Agia region of Goalpara on Saturday night while travelling in a car.
The arrest by Assam police took place after Meghalaya police tipped off their counterparts about the movement of the criminal in the neighbouring state.
William along with Jiten Lyngdoh were handed over to the custody of Garo Hills police on Sunday and was lodged inside the lock up of Mendipather police station when the daring escape took place.
Taking advantage of the presence of a lone unarmed guard outside their cell, the two criminals asked for a bucket of water to use for the toilet inside their cell.
The unsuspecting guard, Unarmed Branch Constable (UBC) Jajeng Marak, opened the iron door of the cell to hand over the bucket of water when William and Jiten attacked him and escaped to freedom.
The constable has since been arrested for criminal conspiracy and negligence.
Top police officials speaking to The Shillong Times from headquarters did not rule out the possible termination of service of the constable involved in the incident.
“There are standing instructions on how to deal with criminals and militants inside police lock-ups. These instructions appear not to have been followed by the personnel on duty leading to the escape. We will probe whether it was negligence, coercion or something else that led to this incident and if required the guilty will be dismissed from service,” said senior police officials said.
“So much effort was made to catch William and Assam police arrested them on our inputs and now we have lost them and will have to start from scratch,” lamented one official.
William led the gang that attacked a police constable at 7th Mile, on the Tura-Kherapara road, and abducted the cop’s friend on July 26.
Police constable Avijeet Mazumdar (27), belonging to the 5th MLP Battalion headquartered at Samgong (Williamnagar) and deployed for security duty with a lady deputy commandant was going on leave to his home town in Dalu when he was attacked.
He was pillion riding with a friend and B.Ed student Saumendu Chakraborty (25) on the latter’s motorbike when they were overtaken by a car and kidnapped at gunpoint.
The police constable tried to fight off his abductors and was shot on the upper chest and left for dead by the gang that took away Saumendu.
The injured policeman managed to survive the shooting and was rescued while his friend Saumendu was released a day later by the abductors on the Gambegre road after reportedly paying ransom.
Tura police acted swiftly and arrested the wife of William after the incident. They also recovered the vehicle used in the attack forcing the ANCA leader to flee to his native place in Dudhnoi to escape the police dragnet.
The attack came a day after Garo militants triggered a powerful IED blast at Tebronggre road, under Rongram police outpost, targeting a police patrol vehicle. Three police constables died as a result of the IED blast on that fateful day.