GNLA attacks GH forest armory, loots seven rifles

From Our Correspondent

 TURA: A large and heavily armed group of Garo militants belonging to the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) made a daring move by crossing from the nearby Simsang river to raid the armory of the East Garo Hills district Range forest office at Chidekgre, 5kms from Williamnagar town, on Monday night taking away as many as seven rifles but leaving the forest staff unharmed.

As many as 15 GNLA militants dressed in battle fatigues and fully armed with AK series rifles crossed over from Mangeram point of Simsang river near Baiza area of Williamnagar shortly after 10:30 pm on Monday night and entered the spacious forest range office compound.

The militants surrounded the entire complex and ordered the office staff out of their quarters into the open ground. They confiscated all the mobile phones and pushed all the inhabitants into a room before asking for the whereabouts of the office watchman.

They tried to force the watchman to open the office room where the armory containing the weapons was placed but failed because the keys were in the possession of a Ranger. The militants then broke the locks of the room and the armory and took away seven rifles.

Among the weapons taken away three were pump action shotguns that simultaneously fire five rounds and the remaining were single barrel shotguns (SBBL).

At the time of the raid the militants had tried to pass themselves off as police commandos but were quickly identified to be impersonators.

There was heart rendering moments at the time of the attack when the militants sought the whereabouts of the night watchman. Fearing for his father’s life, the young son of the watchman came forward to plead with the militants to spare his innocent dad mentioning that he had done no harm to anyone. The militants quickly reciprocated and moved away to try and break open the office themselves leaving the watchman unharmed.

This is the first major attack by GNLA militants on any government institution to snatch weapons.

The militants who casually walked off with the weapons into the darkness warned the government staff from informing the police threatening retaliation.

Although the incident occurred at 11:30 pm information reached the police only by 1 am.

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