Shillong, Aug. 20: Meghalaya police raided four major camps of militant outfits in the Garo hills during the ongoing Operation Hill Storm in Durama hills.
Along with personnel from the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and central paramilitary forces, Meghalaya police launched the operation in Durama hills area to flush out GNLA, Ulfa and other militant outfits. The operation stared on July 11.
“It is a well-known fact that since the days of the ANVC, the interiors of Durama hills have remained a haven for all militant groups for many reasons such as difficult terrain, thick jungles, scant police presence and plenty of water sources,” Meghalaya inspector-general of police (operations) G.H.P. Raju said. He added that the area has become the main training ground for many militant groups including GNLA, Ulfa and others.
Apart from flushing out militants, Meghalaya police continued to occupy the interior areas along the Durama hills to deny a “comfort zone” to militants, Raju said.
During the operation, the security forces busted four GNLA camps. These include the camps of GNLA “commander-in-chief” Sohan D. Shira, Rupanto R. Marak, Baichung and the general camp.
Moreover, 25 militants belonging to the GNLA, Ulfa, A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) and others were arrested from various hideouts, Raju said.
Eight arms, 220 rounds of ammunition, five rocket-launcher shells and other explosive materials were also recovered. “General camp is the main camp where huge quantity of ration is stacked for the rainy season. It is the main training camp for the newly inducted cadres. Ulfa trainers conducted all the training activities. Many Ulfa cadres were trained here,” Raju said.
Many important GNLA cadres including Savio, Baichung, Sacheng and Jarek managed to run away from this camp along with recruited cadres.
Operation Hill Storm will continue for the next two months, Raju said.