GNLA ambush claims 4 cops

DGP rushes to Garo Hills, Govt announces ex gratia

The ill-fated vehicle. (ST)
The ill-fated vehicle. (ST)

TURA/SHILLONG: In one of the most daring attacks on police by the banned GNLA  in recent times, heavily armed militants said to number over three dozen ambushed a police team travelling from remote Rongara police station to district headquarters Baghmara on Tuesday morning killing four personnel and taking away their arms and ammunition.
Two police constables survived the attack with one of them sustaining as many as three bullet injuries.
The incident took place at Panda reserve forest area, 16 kms from Baghmara, at 10:30 am when the police team comprising of a Sub-Inspector and four armed personnel and their driver were coming from Rongara in a lone Maruti gypsy vehicle.
According to police sources, as the speeding vehicle negotiated a turn  they were met with a hail of gunfire from close to forty armed militants who had positioned themselves atop a small mound on both sides of the road.
Police Sub-Inspector Sombatsing K Sangma who was seated in the front along with driver Tangseng Arengh faced the brunt of the attack as the militants opened up from an assortment of weapons.
Both Sombatsing and Tangseng were killed on the spot and the four armed constables seated in the back of the vehicle had no chance of retaliation as the militants continued firing for close to 15 minutes.
Battalion constables Lenin Ch Marak and Hemingstone Marak, belonging to the 3rd MLP battalion, were killed in the attack.
Another battalion constable Baiti Sangma (3rd MLP) managed to escape despite getting hit on the back of his chest and leg while UB constable Arpon Marak was the only member of  the ill-fated group to escape without any bullet injuries. He managed to jump out of the vehicle and flee into the forests as soon as the vehicle came to a halt due to the firing.
After the firing stopped the militants approached the wrecked vehicle and decamped with an AK rifle, two INSAS rifles, a 9 mm pistol and ammunition belonging to the deceased police personnel.
However, the militants in their haste failed to take away two other INSAS rifles belonging to the surviving personnel who managed to break free from the attack and took shelter in the forests until police rescue teams reached the site of the attack.
The injured constable Baiti Sangma has been airlifted to NEIGRIHMS at Shillong.
Doctors at Baghmara civil hospital where the post mortem was conducted on the four deceased police personnel revealed that the bodies had multiple injuries from various calibre weapons including AK and shotguns.
DGP lands in Baghmara: Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) Rajiv Mehta arrived at Baghmara to take stock of the situation.
Ex-gratia announced: Meanwhile, the state Government has announced an ex-gratia of Rs  7.50 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased police personnel
The State Government also announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to the seriously injured police personnel.
Purno condemns attacks:  Meanwhile, the national president of NPP and Lok Sabha member P A Sangma  has condemned the killing of the police personnel in Panda Reserve. In a statement issued on Tuesday, Sangma said that the law and order situation in Meghalaya particularly in Garo Hills has deteriorated to such an extent that even the villagers have taken the law into their own hands and the Government has completely failed to maintain peace.

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