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GNLA leaders escape raid

Tura, Aug. 1: Two area commanders of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Philliport and Rangdat, managed to escape from their hideout this morning during an operation launched by Meghalaya police against the outfit at Matrongre village, nearly 18km from Resubelpara in the North Garo Hills.

Resubelpara is nearly 90km from Tura in the West Garo Hills.

The Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) and CRPF’s CoBRA commandos conducted the operation around 5.30am.

North Garo Hills superintendent of police Jerry Marak said, “Acting on inputs about the presence of 20 GNLA rebels at Matrongre village, we managed to locate the hideout. The approaching police team was fired upon by the GNLA sentry on duty. The exchange of fire lasted for nearly half an hour. All the militants managed to flee. We have dismantled the camp,” he added.

On July 3, Philliport managed to escape during an operation conducted by security forces at Bolsal Ading, near Resubelpara in the North Garo Hills. Two CRPF personnel were injured.

On July 25, area commander Rangdat had managed to escape during an operation at Jogogre near Bajengdoba, nearly 80km from Tura. Two youths were injured in the crossfire between the security forces and the militants.

In the past two months, security forces have raided at least 14 hideouts of the outfit.

In two separate operations, GNLA commander-in-chief Sohan D. Shira had reportedly escaped from a hideout.

The counter-insurgency operations were launched after suspected GNLA rebels brutally murdered Jospin M. Sangma, 35, at Raja Ronggat near Chokpot on June 3 in the presence of her husband and four children.