By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: In a daring attack, armed GNLA cadres entered the Williamnagar jail premises and shot dead an assistant jailor and seriously injured a warder after dragging them out of the office on Saturday night.
According to police, the assistant jailor identified as Neil Warjri was killed and warder Sarai Singh Thabah was seriously wounded inside the jail compound near the gate in the attack that occurred at around 9 pm. As many as eight GNLA cadres armed with AK rifles and Chinese made pistols were involved in the attack.
East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Vijay Mantri, who is camping in Delhi, said over phone that it was a desperate attempt by the outfit to instill terror in the minds of the people.
According to Mantri, as per information, the militants first entered the jail premises through a small gate and proceeded to the office of the two jail staff.
The militants dragged Warjri and Thabah out of the office and shot them near the gate.
The injured warder Thabah was shifted to Tura Civil Hospital.
The motive of the militant outfit to attack only the select staff of Williamnagar jail is intriguing.
Moreover, the sentry posted on one of the watch towers, who was deployed for round the clock duty, failed to fire at the GNLA militants.
There are as many as 15 GNLA cadres, many of them booked under MPDA, lodged in Williamnagar jail.
“The motive appears to be puzzling as the militant outfit did not effect any jail break to take out the militants from the prison,” a police source said, adding that nobody escaped and the militants only targeted the two jail staff.
It is yet to be known whether the attack has anything to do with the recent booking of GNLA chairman Champion Sangma, currently lodged in Shillong jail, under the MPDA by the East Garo Hills District Magistrate. Subsequently, the West Garo Hills District Magistrate had also imposed MPDA.
It was on January 24 that the present DGP Kulbir Krishan, who was holding the dual charge of prisons, handed over the charge to senior police official Prem Singh.
Singh said that he was trying to get details regarding the incident.
At a time when the State is preparing for the Assembly election, the sudden attack on the part of the GNLA has shocked the district administration and the election officials.
Many of polling stations in Williamnagar have been categorized as hyper sensitive due to the spurt in militant activities.
It was only on Friday that 10 companies of Central paramilitary forces were deployed in Garo Hills.
This is the third attack in as many days in Garo Hills by GNLA rebels.
On Thursday, the outfit targetted a poll rally of an Independent candidate at Dawa Songgital near Williamnagar. On Friday, GNLA cadres had attacked a government toll check gate in North Garo Hills.