Shillong, Feb. 3: In a new twist to the Williamnagar district jail incident, the East Garo Hills district administration today said the armed men behind the shocking attack were from the breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC-B) and not from the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) as thought of earlier .
East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Vijay Kumar Mantri said it has been confirmed that the cadres of the ANVC (B) were responsible for the attack.
Yesterday about 9pm, around eight armed cadres of the outfit stormed the district jail where they shot dead assistant jailor Neil Warjri and injured warder Sharai Sing Thabah. But no undertrial prisoner could flee.
However, Mantri said the warder, who was shifted to a hospital in Tura, West Garo Hills, passed away around 2.30 this morning.
Both the bodies were brought back to Shillong today after the post-mortem and other formalities were conducted.
According to the sources, the police have identified those who led the attack — Singhberth N. Marak alias Mork, alias Thengter, and Norkesh Sangma.
Both had been arrested earlier, and had been lodged in the Williamnagar district jail. However, both are currently out on bail.
The attack came as a shocker, as the ANVC (B) had last month participated in the settlement process along with the ANVC, to resolve the various demands raised by the latter, which has been under a tripartite ceasefire agreement since 2004.
In fact, ANVC (B) chairman Rimpu N. Marak along with some of his colleagues had attended the crucial meeting held on January 5, where the draft settlement agreement was approved.
Chief minister Mukul Sangma had also given approval to the draft settlement agreement.
The final nod from the Centre is awaited before the agreement can be implemented.
Asked on the motive behind the attack, the East Garo Hills deputy commissioner said, “I cannot comment anything right now, as investigation is still on.”
Reacting to the incident, Federation of Khasi-Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), a pressure group, strongly denounced the cold-blooded killing of both Warjri and Thabah. “We cannot accept such an incident, especially when Warjri and Thabah were killed in a cold-blooded manner without any reason,” Wellbirth Rani, FKJGP general secretary, said in a statement.
The FKJGP also appealed to the militant organisations to shun from indulging in such incidents, which could only incite communal passions apart from making the lives of innocent souls insecure.