| File picture of cadres at a GNLA camp |
Shillong, Oct. 31: Four police constables and a civilian driver were killed after a group of suspected Garo National Liberation Army militants ambushed a Meghalaya police patrol party at Nengpatchi, 45km from Dobu in East Garo Hills, this evening. Two police constables were also injured in the incident.
Meghalaya director-general of police N. Ramachandran said the incident took place around 5pm today and details were awaited as the village was in a remote area.
“It is a very sad incident and the suspicion is on the GNLA militants,” he said.
The director-general of police said according to initial reports, the militants ambushed the police team. “The deceased constables have been identified as unarmed branch constable N.R. Marak, havildars Probinson Sangma, Victor Marak and E. Sangma,” Ramachandran said.
The driver, who is yet to be identified, was using the vehicle, ML-09A0958, to ferry the police personnel. The injured constables are Peter Sangma and D. Sangma
While two AK-series rifles, one carbine and two SLRs were missing from the police, one AK rifle was brought back by the injured Peter Sangma.
“We are piecing together the information from all the senior police officials from East and West Garo Hills who are on the spot,” the DGP said.
Earlier this year, six lower rank policemen were killed during the anti-insurgency operations against the GNLA in Garo hills. At least five policemen also sustained injuries over the past year during their fight against the militants.
Despite the Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) of the state police, the special Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the CRPF and the BSF personnel engaging in their fight against militancy in Garo hills, there were more casualties of state police constables during the year.
On October 15, GNLA militants in West Garo Hills lured Havildar William Mawiong and two others into their trap. A villager, identified as Pintu Marak, lured them to the nearby river for fishing, where the GNLA militants successfully kidnapped the trio.
While Mawiong was shot dead by the militants, the other two, Sambu Dalu and Grejilistone Momin, were tortured. The trap laid by the GNLA is similar to the June 4 incident of killing three policemen and injuring two others at Tapa Darengchi in East Garo Hills.
On July 3, the GNLA militants succeeded in confusing the policemen deployed in their fight against the militants. In their hunt against the GNLA cadres in a village near Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, two police teams, which mistook each other for militants, clashed, resulting in the death of havildar Gopal Prasad Nunia and constable Exmarting Marak.