Slain police official leading from front against Garo militants
TURA: A Meghalaya Police Sub-Inspector who was leading his team to bust a hideout of suspected Garo militants close to the international border in Purakhasia area of West Garo Hills district was killed in an exchange of fire on Thursday morning.
The tragedy occurred when SI Pramoth Sangma (50), who was leading one of the teams to cut off the militants escape route, came under a hail of fire from the armed rebels as the operation was underway.
“Since he was leading from the front he came in the line of fire of the armed militants. We believe the militant sentry may have spotted the team as it was advancing towards their makeshift camp and opened fire,” informed SP incharge B A Sangma to The Shillong Times.
The operation against the militants, whose identity remains unknown, began on Wednesday evening itself after West Garo Hills police received intelligence reports about the presence of a camp in Songmagre village of Purakhasia, close to the international border with Bangladesh.
According to the district police, a team was formed comprising of Circle Inspectors from Sadar and Dalu and the in-charge of Purakhasia police outpost along with SI Pramoth Sangma and SWAT commandos.
The operation was launched at first light, Thursday morning and Pramoth Sangma was leading the cut off party when they came under heavy fire. In the ensuing firing Pramoth was fatally injured and succumbed to his injuries while the militants taking cover of the thick jungles and hostile terrain managed to escape.
The tragedy at the start of the festival of lights (Diwali) has cast a pale of gloom throughout the police force, particularly the Tura police reserve where a ceremonial salute was given before the body of the late officer and wreaths placed on his coffin.
Officers including SP in-charge B A Sangma and 2nd MLP Battalion Commandant were among the several police officers and men to offer their salute for the brave officer who laid down his life fighting against armed insurgents in the Garo Hills.
“He was an outstanding and courageous officer, an inspiring and motivating colleague and senior. He has given the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation,” saluted the SP in charge.
Late Pramoth Sangma hailed from Sampargiri village of Garobadha.
He joined the police force and was enlisted as Battalion Constable on September 1st 1983 at Mawiong, Shillong.
He successfully passed a commando course in the elite NSG training centre at Manesar, Haryana in the year 1984. His sincerity and efficient performance led to his promotion as Lance Naik, Havildar and in 2007 was promoted to the rank of Sub-Inspector (SI).
During his 31-year-long service he was awarded thirty-six rewards for successful police operations and this year received a commendation and the prestigious Governor’s police medal.
Only recently, the district police had recommended his name for the President’s police medal (PPM) for distinguished and meritorious service.
The slain officer leaves behind his wife, three sons and a daughter.