Shillong, Sept. 9: Militants suspected to be from the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC) today gunned down five policemen, including a deputy superintendent of police, and injured two near Chokpot in the South Garo Hills of Meghalaya.
It was the third big strike in as many months by militants active in the Garo Hills. The last such ambush was on the eve of Independence Day, when 10 people were shot dead.
Director-general of police L. Sailo and assistant director general of police W.R Marbaniang informed newspersons that DSP Pechon Sangma and his team were on their way to Chokpot from Baghmara at around 1 pm when they came under attack. The policemen retaliated immediately, but were seemingly outnumbered, they said.
Apart from Sangma, four constables were killed in the ambush. However, police officials here could not confirm the names of the slain constables.
With the exchange of fire continuing for 30 minutes, gunshots were heard at the Chokpot outpost, which is not far from the site of the ambush, Sailo said.
Sangma, who was the DSP (headquarters) of South Garo Hills, was going to Chokpot for patrolling. The officer, the first of his rank to be killed by militants in Meghalaya, is survived by his wife and two sons.
Chief minister F.A. Khonglam and his deputy D.D. Lapang, who were present at the news conference, said the administration would extend all possible help to the police to flush out militants from the area.
Sailo and a few more senior police officers will visit Baghmara tomorrow to take stock of the situation. The superintendent of police of South Garo Hills is already in Chokpot to supervise the combing operation.
Marbaniang said the area was a stronghold of the outlawed ANVC and the ambush on the police team was possibly its handiwork. He said the group involved in the attack might have suffered casualties when the policemen fired back at them.
The assistant DGP said one of the constables in the police team sneaked past the militants and informed officials at the Chokpot outpost about the ambush. He said details about the ambush would be known only tomorrow. According to preliminary reports from Baghmara, the militants hurled hand grenades and opened fire from sophisticated weapons.
The chief minister said additional forces would be sent to the Garo Hills to intensify counter-insurgency operations. “We will move the Centre for reinforcements to tackle the spurt in militant activity,” he added.
SI killed in Imphal
A sub-inspector of Imphal West police (narcotics cell) was killed by suspected drug traffickers at Singjamei Super Market in Imphal, says our correspondent.
The incident occurred happened when the plain-clothed policemen in plainclothes were waiting for a bus coming from the border town of Moreh. According to intelligence reports, the bus was reportedly carrying heroin. When t based on intelligence reports. the sub-inspector, K. Aswini Kumar, tried to stop the bus and search the passenger suspected to be who was carrying heroin he was stabbed but a man from behind stabbed him on the chest from behind.
The Constable M. Kumar, who tried to stop the assailant, received serious injuries on his neck. The bus driver escaped during the melee.
The killed slain policeman, has been identified as K. Aswini Kumar who succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences Hospital here. A massive manhunt has been launched for nab the assailant. attackers
Security panel: Manipur police chief S. Bimolchandra Singh today said the state’s apex security co-ordination committee would be reactivated on September 12.
The director-general of police told newspersons that he liked the concept of the police, Assam Rifles and the army having a joint control room and interrogation cell. “The system had functioned well earlier with the police, Assam Rifles and army sharing information and working in tandem to keep insurgents in check,” he said.