Tura, May 20: Five militants of the United A'chik Liberation Army (UALA) were today gunned down by Meghalaya police, who busted their hideout at Chiokgre near William-nagar in East Garo Hills.
A police sub-inspector was injured during the gunfight.
Chiokgre village is 5km from Williamnagar town and about 80km from here. One needs to cross the Simsang river from Williamnagar to reach the village.
The operation was led by commandos of the Meghalaya police’s SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) unit and the CRPF’s Cobra (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) force. It began late last night and continued till morning. The exchange of fire between the police and the militants lasted for about 15 minutes from 4.15am to 4.30am.
The outfit’s commander-in-chief, Norok X. Momin, is said to have been hiding in the camp. He managed to escape along with six others.
East Garo Hills superintendent of police Davis Marak said, “We launched the operation on the basis of intelligence inputs that the commander-in-chief of the outfit, Norok X. Momin, and his cadres had taken shelter at Chiokgre village. We managed to locate the hideout and gunned down five of them.”
The police recovered three AK-47 rifles, one pistol, 109 rounds of ammunition, demand notes and ID cards from the slain cadres, three of whom have been identified as self-styled sergeant major Kalam R. Marak, corporal commander Gikdik Momin and private soldier Bhatnagar R. Marak. A fourth rebel has been identified as Sengnam N. Marak alias Walle.
The UALA is a splinter group of the breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers Council (ANVC-B) and is fighting for a separate Garoland, comprising the five districts of Garo hills.
UALA chairman Chiindik Marak is wanted by Meghalaya police for killing two jail officials at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. Assam police is also after him for masterminding the killing of seven Rabha tribesmen and injuring nine others at Gendabari village in Assam’s Goalpara district during last Diwali.