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Rebels abduct coal trader

Shillong, Jan. 31: Suspected Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) cadres yesterday abducted the younger brother of Independent legislator Samuel M. Sangma in South Garo Hills district in western Meghalaya.

According to police, Naga M. Sangma, 39, who is also a coal exporter, was abducted from his residence at Gasuapara, which is near the Indo-Bangladesh border, last night by a group of around four armed GNLA men. Gasuapara is around 395km from here. Samuel represents Baghmara constituency.

While police strongly suspect that the coal exporter to Bangladesh was abducted for ransom, it could not be immediately confirmed whether the abducted person had received any extortion notice from the dreaded outfit.

With the coal trading season on, the GNLA has been allegedly serving demand notes to traders and truckers not only in the coal mining areas of the Garo hills, but also in the coal mining belts of West Khasi Hills district. Security forces have launched an operation to rescue Naga from the clutch of the militants.