Shillong, Dec. 16: The emergence of multiple militant groups in the Garo hills region is keeping Meghalaya police on their toes, especially when the lucrative coaltrading season has picked up.
Police in South Garo Hills, where an export point is located at Gasuapara, about 395km from here, managed to arrest one hardcore ANVC (B) cadre and seized demand notes of the ANVC (B) and the United A’chik Liberation Army (UALA) this morning.
Speaking about the development, the South Garo Hills superintendent of police, Davis N.R. Marak, said the security forces are launching operations on a daily basis.
“As part of the operations, this morning we arrested one hardcore ANVC (B) cadre who has been identified as Tengseng T. Sangma from Gasuapara,” Marak said.
Gasuapara is an export zone where big traders converge, especially during the coal trading season. The area is very close to the international border.
Police suspect that militant groups are trying to take mileage of the coal trade and have come there either to serve extortion notes or abduct traders.
South Garo Hills has faced the brunt of militancy this year with several militancy-related incidents taking place.
Last Monday, an encounter broke out between security forces and GNLA cadres near Gasuapara after the police received information that the militants had crossed the international border with a consignment of RDX explosives. However, no breakthrough was achieved although police are still trying to trace those cadres.
On Wednesday, the GNLA militants laid an ambush on a team of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) commandos at Pathargittim under Nongalbibra police station in South Garo Hills.
Though no one died, one commando, Donboklang Jana, was injured when bullets hit him in his stomach and on the thigh. Jana was flown to Shillong and admitted to the military hospital.
Last evening, the GNLA allegedly gunned down two civilians at Gasuapara. The outfit, which left a note on the duo’s bodies, alleged that the two were extorting money in the group’s name. However, the police said the outfit’s claim was untrue.
The victims have been identified as Semion M. Marak of Rongsigre and Sengwal D. Sangma of Rongbokgre under South Garo Hills.
The police said the killing of civilians was an act of “desperation” on the part of the GNLA.