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Six militants killed in separate encounters in Garo Hills of Meghalaya

SHILLONG: More than six militants were killed in separate incidents in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region. “One militant was shot dead in an encounter early Sunday at Rambogre Songgital in East Garo Hills district, another militant was lynched by angry villagers on Saturday in Chokpot area in neighbouring district while distributing demand letters,” Inspector General of Police GHP Raju said.

He said four GNLA militants were shot dead by their rival group last evening by United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) cadres and the A’chik Matgrik Elite Force (AMEF) groups in Bolomram forests in East Garo Hills district.

The GNLA cadre shot dead has been identified as Rikman from Sasatgre and police have recovered a pistol and some incriminating documents. While police have launched a search operation to nab his aides, Raju said those who escaped could have also been injured due to bullet wounds.

Meanwhile, police said they have also identified perpetrators involved in brutally caning innocent villagers in a remote Pakrege village in East Garo Hills district on mere suspicion that men there were police informers.

“We have identified one of the militants. Bawang led the caning of the villagers and he hails from the village itself,” the senior police officer said.

“Bawang himself escaped police operations on September 10 when his deputy Bestarfield K Marak was shot dead in the encounter that followed,” he said. Police suspected that the militants had resorted to caning innocent villagers to ensure that they have a safe place to hide from the police who are engaged in the combing operations.

“Counter Insurgency Operation 'Hill Storm' launched in the first week of July is giving results with at least 11 12 camps of the GNLA were busted,” the IGP said. The GNLA was considered a militant outfit and banned by the Centre in 2012.