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From Our Correspondent
TURA: In one of the biggest achievements against militancy in Garo Hills, police commandos from East Garo Hills shot dead the ‘action wing commander’ of the GNLA along with three other militants during an early morning encounter near Mendipather on Thursday.
The ‘action commander’ of the GNLA and one of the most wanted militants of the outfit, Jeany Ch Momin who goes by the name of Ringrang, was killed during a fire fight with police teams that intercepted the two vehicles they were travelling on.
Acting on intelligence reports about movement of a large group of militants in Mongpangro area near Mendipather, police teams swung into action and set up several road blocks along the route and SWAT commandos were put on alert.
At 1 am in the morning two Tata sumos were noticed coming from the opposite direction near Keragalram village, 8 kms from Mendipathar town. When signalled to stop the two vehicles tried to force their way through and the militants inside opened fire forcing the alert police teams to retaliate.
A heavy exchange of fire took place in which the ‘action wing commander’ emptied an entire magazine of AK ammunition indiscriminately firing on the police parties who had set up barricades. During the fire fight four militants were shot dead while two others managed to escape after jumping out from the second vehicle and fleeing into the thick forest surrounding both sides of the road.
From the identity cards found in the pockets of the deceased, police were able to identify the four cadres. The deceased were the ‘action commander’ Jeany Ch Momin, Chanangbath Marak, Jikjeng Marak and Grenilson Marak. (Contd on P-10)
(Contd from P-1) Among the two cadres who escaped one was identified as hardcore ultra Rakban D Shira alias Pilliport. One AK-47 rifle with an empty magazine used by the ‘action commander’ was also seized from the encounter site.
The vehicles used by the militants — AS-18 B 3581 and ML08 A 5369 — have been seized by the security forces from the encounter site.
The killing of the ‘action commander’ is a major blow for the GNLA whose operations had been expanding in the Mendipather-Resubelpara region for the last few months.
The deceased was very close to GNLA army chief Sohan D Shira and had been handpicked to head the outfit’s action wing whose main role is to attack security forces and those who go against the interests of the banned organization.
The ‘action commander’ was originally manning the central command of the outfit located in Williamnagar and later sent to West Khasi Hills before being promoted to take charge of the action command. He hailed from Bolkingre village near Williamnagar in East Garo Hills. He was the prime accused in a series of attacks on police and security forces and the killing of those suspected to be police informers. He was the main accused in the killing of a 70-year-old man from Bawegre and execution of a retired police constable from Bansam Awe on February 26 on suspicion of being a police informer, police informed.
He also led the charge in targetting homes of surrendered militants by setting them on fire in retaliation for coming overground.
He was with the armed group that orcestrated the attack on a coal depot at Wageasi where 14 coal trucks were burnt down last week.