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Three rebels killed in gun battle

Shillong, Nov. 28: Three cadres of the United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA) were shot dead in a gun battle with security forces in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district this morning.

Another militant, who was injured in the encounter, was arrested from a location near the outfit’s hideout, but their leader, Singbirth N. Marak alias Norok X. Momin, managed to flee, a police official said.

The official said the gun battle between the security forces and the UALA cadres took place at Chiokgre, nearly 10km from Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills, when commandos from the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and special weapons and tactics (SWAT), raided Norok’s hideout. The incident occurred at 5.15am.

“Three UALA rebels died on the spot after security forces retaliated to the firing from the rebels,” the official said.

From the place of occurrence, police recovered a pistol and grenades, besides incriminating documents and identity cards of Norok, Walsare C. Marak (UALA deputy commander-in-chief), Nagra R. Marak (UALA general secretary) and Rikkam R. Marak (UALA sergeant major).

The injured cadre was sent to Tura civil hospital for treatment.

The UALA was formed earlier this year after splitting from the breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC).

Norok, who was the self-styled camp commander of the Nongal-Dobu camp of the ANVC (B), deserted the camp to form the UALA.

On March 12, 2013, 28 ANVC (B) cadres deserted the Nongal-Dobu camp of the outfit. They also took along with them 18 weapons which included AK rifles, shot guns and pistols.

Norok is the prime accused in gunning down two officials of Williamnagar district jail in East Garo Hills on February 2, 2013 after he was released on bail from Williamnagar jail.

The UALA has also been accused of gunning down seven persons in Gendamari, a remote village under Agia police station, about 50km away from Goalpara in Assam, while they were celebrating Diwali in their locality on November 3.

GNLA worker held

Yesterday, BSF personnel arrested one alleged overground worker of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) from West Garo Hills district.

The BSF personnel deployed at Tikrikilla along with Meghalaya police conducted an operation at Jungmait village where they apprehended a GNLA overground worker who has been identified as Toren Sangma, 25.

“Sangma confessed he was working for the GNLA and was involved in collection of extortion money. Two days ago he collected Rs 2.2 lakh from Tikrikilla market for the outfit,” a BSF official said.

Cadre arrested

Security forces today foiled efforts by National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) cadres to kidnap coal barons in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district and arrested one of its cadres.

Police said the militant, identified as Dhanan Basumatary alias Majo, was arrested in a joint operation by the police teams of Meghalaya and Assam today.

Majo was taken to Guwahati this afternoon by Assam police for questioning on his criminal antecedents in the state, the officer said. Security in other coal belts in the state has been beefed up following reports of attempt to kidnap businessmen by several other armed outfits, reports PTI.

LAEF cadre held: Mojince Sangma, 33, a cadre of Garo hills-based militant group Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF), was apprehended by Guwahati police after getting a tip-off by the army’s Gajraj forces from Jorabat area in Guwahati today, adds our Guwahati correspondent

Rs 1.87 lakh in cash and 15 rounds of live ammunition of 9mm pistol were seized from him. A source said he was on his way to Bokolia in Karbi Anglong to procure arms and ammunition.