| Arms and other items recovered from the GNLA camp. Telegraph picture |
Shillong, Aug. 24: Top cadres of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) reportedly managed to retreat while one cadre was shot dead when security forces stormed their camp in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district yesterday.
Around 12.30pm, East Garo Hills police, along with personnel from the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) and Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA), stormed the outfit’s general camp deep inside Durama hill range, about 45km from Williamnagar, the headquarters of East Garo Hills.
In a gun battle which lasted for nearly 30 minutes, GNLA cadre Balsrang T. Sangma of Daribok Sasatgre was killed and an M-16 rifle with two magazines and 41 rounds of bullets recovered from him, a police officer said.
The officer said nearly 35 people were in the camp and its commander has been identified as Darwin.
Other cadres, who were reportedly in the camp, included Savio R. Marak, a former police constable who is an “area commander” of the GNLA operating in the Hahim/Aradonga region, Pangkam, Rangdat and Dalton, the police added.
The camp, which covers an area of about 2 square km, was destroyed by the security forces before they headed back to Williamnagar around 12.30am.
Articles recovered from the camp included one Kenwood wireless set, 14 rounds of live AK ammunition, an ammunition pouch, a GNLA T-shirt, two mobile phones and incriminating documents.
The GNLA is primarily active in East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills and was declared a terrorist outfit last year by the Centre.
Many people, including security personnel, have been killed while others were abducted for ransom by GNLA rebels in the last three years.