Shillong, Feb. 6: The militant Garo National Liberation Army is on a killing spree in Garo hills and West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya.
The outfit has already gunned down eight persons this year, including a 15-year-old. Its latest victim was a 60-year-old villager from South Garo Hills, identified as Edward Sangma of Rompha Asim village, who was killed on Saturday night.
After a killing, the GNLA places a note by the body saying the person was eliminated for being a police informer or for not co-operating with it. In some cases, there is a ransom demand as well.
Sangma, whose bullet-riddled body was recovered from Mendikgere, 2km from his village, also had a note beside it saying that he had been eliminated for being a police informer. What will they get by killing an innocent old man? This is an act of frustration by the GNLA, a senior police official said today, adding that the police had registered a case.
Though every other day bodies of GNLAs victims, including the old and the young, are being recovered from Garo hills and West Khasi Hills, the cold-blooded murders are yet to evoke any condemnation from any quarters.
R. Muthu, the superintendent of police of West Khasi Hills, where the outfit has killed at least four persons this year, said the bodies of Joston Momin, 15, and Johas Sangma, 55, who were killed and dumped by the GNLA in a remote village, Sanengkre, were yet to be recovered.
We have identified the bullet-riddled bodies and they will be recovered soon, he added. The village, 150km from Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills, does not have any motorable road.
The police said the GNLA killed the villagers for not supporting them.
On January 19, the GNLA rebels had shot dead two tollgate keepers, Arbinus D. Sangma and Bahkan G. Marak, at Shallang in West Khasi Hills for ransom.
On January 16, the militants had shot dead two youths, Engti Marak and Pak Momin, in East Garo Hills, accusing them of being police informers.
On January 30, West Garo Hills police had recovered the body of a PWD labourer, Songjing Sangma, who was executed by the GNLA for being a police informer.
The rival ANVC, currently under ceasefire, had asked the GNLA to stop the killing of innocent people.
Home minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said the violence being perpetrated by the GNLA could not be tolerated.