Shillong, April 5: Militants operating in Meghalaya’s Garo hills region often come and take refuge in the state capital, lavishly spend money garnered through extortion by indulging in various activities.
This came to light with the arrest of five persons, including two women, allegedly sex workers, from a city hotel yesterday, in a raid conducted by Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) personnel at Grace Hotel in the Khyndailad area.
During the raid, a senior cadre of the breakaway faction of the ANVC, identified as Apsal M. Sangma alias Dokrak, 26, from Dobi village under Baghmara in South Garo Hills, was arrested, East Khasi Hills superintendent of police M. Kharkrang said.
Apsal is suspected to have been involved in the twin shootings in Williamnagar town in East Garo Hills recently, Kharkrang said. Two mobile phones and Rs 76,000 in cash were seized from him, he added.
Two of Apsal’s accomplices, James Momin, 26, of Swadrang in Tura and Isac Marak, 23, of D.C. Colony, Williamnagar, were also arrested. A mobile phone and Rs 16,760 in cash were seized from them.
A Maruti car parked outside the hotel, which was used by the criminals, had a front registration plate as ML07-A-5331 while the back registration plate had a different number (AS-01-6648). The two women found in their room were also arrested.
Liquor bottles were found inside the room as the five were partying.
“From preliminary investigations, it clearly indicates that the senior cadres of the different criminal gangs in the Garo hills come to Shillong to take refuge and indulge in various immoral activities with extorted money,” Kharkrang said.