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Police grill three GNLA members

- Trio arrested from Dhubri on extortion charge

Tura, July 28: Police in Dhubri are interrogating three overground members of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) for serving demand notes in Mancachar and its adjoining areas.

They were arrested last evening by Assam police from Kakripara under Mancachar police station.

The trio have been identified as Dulal Miah, 30, a resident of Mancachar, Biswajit Koch, 20 and Aldrin Sangma, 22, both from the Purakashia area of South West Garo Hills.

Dhubri superintendent of police Mridulananda Sharma said, “They were actively involved in serving demand notes, which was monitored by our team in Mancachar. They have been unleashing terror in the name of GNLA, making calls to traders in Mancachar and other areas. Interrogation is on.”

The police said the trio were tracked based on phone calls that they had made last week to various traders.

In the last two months, insurgency activities have increased along the Assam-Meghalaya border villages in the Garo hills, Dhubri and South Salmara area. At least 18 traders have been abducted, of which bodies of two have been recovered.

Last week, two labourers from the Mancachar area — Saheed Miah and Sohidur Islam — were killed on the outskirts of Tura.

In connection with the case, Meghalaya police on Saturday evening arrested 24 cadres of the breakaway faction of A’chik National Volunteer’s Council (ANVC-B).

The police said they have “concrete evidence” against a few cadres of the outfit.

Of the 24 arrested cadres, six were yesterday sent to five days in police custody and the rest to 14-day judicial custody.

West Garo Hills superintendent of police Mukesh Singh said, “We have interrogated six senior cadres for their involvement and the investigation is on.” The brutal murder of Miah and Islam has created a widespread repercussions in Mancachar, with the public and civil bodies in the area raising their voices against rising insurgency in Garo hills.

District administration officials from Dhubri and West Garo Hills district on Saturday held a consultative meeting with several NGOs, assuring safety and security to the traders and others who frequent Garo hills.

It was agreed that the next meeting would be held with NGO representatives, religious organisations from the Garo hills and Dhubri in the presence of deputy commissioners from both the districts.

The civil bodies from the Mancachar area have also sought President’s rule in Meghalaya and the immediate release of compensation for the deceased families.