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Relay strike nets nine rebels

Tura, July 8: Meghalaya police today arrested nine cadres of the Achik Songna Achakpakiga Kotok (ASAK) from the towns of Williamnagar and Rongjeng in the East Garo Hills.

A small cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from them. Two of the cadres were area commanders of the outfit.

East Garo Hills SP Davies Marak said, “We received information about the presence of three members of the outfit near the Williamnagar Forest Gate. Our team went and caught them on the spot. On interrogation, they revealed that there were another two cadres in the Williamnagar Bazar area, possibly serving demand notes. They too were caught.”

“Again, these two then revealed that there was another member of the outfit in the Chidekgre area of Williamnagar, who was also caught. He then confessed that an area commander and two more cadres were travelling by road towards Rongjeng. Our police team caught them in Rongjeng after lying in wait for them. A total of nine members were caught in the district,” the SP said.

Three automatic pistols, two knives, 25 rounds of bullets, mobile phones, SIM cards, a wireless set, demand notes and some money have been recovered.

The arrested cadres from Williamnagar have been identified as Rikran Momin, Sabat Marak, Selbi Arengh, Isak Sangma, Walman Sangma and Merak K. Sangma (Suangre). Suangre, a GNLA deserter, is the eastern area commander of the ASAK.

The cadres arrested from Rongjeng have been identified as Pagal Sangma (Balwa), Ninibirth Sangma and Dinesh Ch. Marak (Blackboard). Blackboard is the commander of both the operation command and the special command of the militant outfit.