Shillong, June 27 (Calcutta Tube) Two Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants were killed Sunday, while their self-styled deputy commander-in-chief escaped in a gunfight with security forces in western Meghalaya, police said.
Acting on a tip-off about the presence of about five GNLA militants at Namberam village under Mendipathar police station, a joint team of the 13 Sikh Regiment and Meghalaya Police raided the hideout of the militants.
Namberam village is located in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hill district, about 300 km west of state capital Shillong.
The gunfight began when the militants opened fire on the security forces and in the ensuing shootout, two militants identified as Patrick Sangma and Sengbat Sangma were killed, Superintendent of Police Sylvester Nongtynger told IANS.
However, Robert Marak, the ‘deputy chief’ of GNLA’s armed wing and others managed to escape taking advantage of the night.
Two pistols and ammunition, two Chinese-made grenades, a mobile handset and several incriminating documents were recovered from their possession.
Nongtynger said the slain militants were involved in the abduction of a coal baron from the Shallang area of West Khasi Hills district for a ransom of Rs.20 lakh.
Phorty Snar who was abducted June 20 is still a captive of the GNLA.
The GNLA has served several extortion notes to businessmen and even politicians from the Garo Hills. The group is especially active in the coal-rich belt of the three districts of Garo Hills.
The GNLA, which is fighting for a ‘sovereign Garoland’ in the western area of Meghalaya, has links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the NDFB.
Meanwhile, a massive search operation has been launched to nab the militants who managed to escape.