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Hunt on for cop-turned-rebel
- Arrests lead police to scour jungles of Meghalaya for abducted boy

Shillong, Sept. 22: The hunter has become the hunted in the jungles of East Garo Hills.

Meghalaya police today said that they have launched a hunt for a former policeman, Plinro Marak, who is now the “boss” of the militant group, People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLFM).

Marak, said to be in his late thirties, allegedly masterminded the abduction of the 12-year-old son of a prominent businessman from East Garo Hills and is demanding Rs 3 lakh as ransom for safe release of the boy.

Marak, originally from Assam, served as a constable in Meghalaya Police for a few years before he was declared a “deserter” a few years ago.

“We are tracking his movements and he is somewhere in the Assam border”, East Garo Hills superintendent of police Silvester Nongthynger said.

Police revealed that the boy, Sangrat Sangma, was abducted by the PLFM on Thursday evening from Kharkutta in East Garo Hills . So far three arrests have been made, including two militants and the driver of the Sumo that was used to kidnap the boy, police said today.

“The kidnappers have demanded Rs 3 lakh as ransom for the release of the boy who we believe has been taken to some place in Assam,” another police official added.

While police arrested a member of PLFM, Breningstone Sangma and the driver of the Sumo on Friday, another cadre, L. Sangma, was arrested on Saturday.

Breningstone, a former ANVC member, told police that he had planned and executed the kidnapping on the advice of PLFM chairman Plinro.

The outfit was formed a decade ago by Vincent Sangma, a former Meghalaya homeguard.

According to reports, Sangma was killed in Bangladesh a few years back by a rival militant group. In 2001, some members of the PLFM formed a new outfit, christened United Achik National Front.

While PLFM cadres are active in East Garo Hills and the border villages in Assam, the UANF is active in Dalu, Gasuapara, Purakhasia and Kherapara areas of Garo Hills bordering Bangladesh.

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