Cop killed in gun battle

By Our Reporter

 Shillong: A CRPF sub-inspector was killed and a constable injured in firing by Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants in East Garo Hills district on Tuesday even as security forces busted a camp of the rebel outfit in Durama Hills range.

Sub-Inspector Pradeep Kumar and constable Munna Kumar of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) came under heavy firing from the militants while they were conducting search operaions at Nobokgre village, 15 km south of Williamnagar, DGP N Ramachandran said.

The gunfight broke out when the GNLA militants opened fire at a team of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team backed by CoBRA commandos raiding their hideout at Nabokgre in the district.

The injured commando was flown to an army base hospital at Guwahati, while a hunt is on to trace the rebels who fled after the shootout.

Earlier, acting on a tip-off that GNLA militants were camping in a jungle under Memamang hill located about 23 km from Williamnagar, SWAT commandos and CoBRA personnel stormed the camp late Monday night.

Ramachandran, meanwhile, ruled out aerial attacks against GNLA rebels.

“We cannot use helicopters for operations in our own country as it may affect civilians in our attempt to take on the GNLA rebels,” he said.

He, however, maintained that offensive crackdown would continue against the GNLA rebels. “There’s no question of stopping. The operation will continue and we cannot reveal our plans,” the police chief said.

Ruling out the involvement of ULFA in the attack, Ramachandran said, “GNLA cadres are involved in this attack. But I can only tell that GNLA C-in-C Sohan D Shira was not there at that time. There were around three or four cadres.”

On Monday, security forces busted a joint training camp of the GNLA and the United Liberation Front of Asom at Memanang in East Garo Hills.

“We have busted the training camp of ULFA and GNLA on Monday evening after a fierce gun battle with the rebels in the foothills of Durama,” Additional Director General of Police (law and order) Rajiv Mehta told a news agency.

A massive combing operation meanwhile was on for the fifth consecutive day inside the thick jungles of Durama Hills range. The GNLA, one of five Garo rebel groups fighting for a separate ‘Garoland’ in the western Meghalaya, has unleashed a reign of terror killing innocent civilians and slapping extortion notes. It is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma. (With inputs from agencies)

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