Garo rebels kill one, injure three in Meghalaya
One person was shot dead and three were injured in two separate incidents carried out by outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels in insurgency-ravaged Garo Hills in western Meghalaya on 21st August,2013.Heavily armed GNLA rebels shot dead Jenipar K. Sangma and assaulted his teenage son Arsen Marak at their residence in Rangmai area under South Garo Hills district allegedly for extorting money in the name of the outlawed outfit, police said.In another incident, a GNLA rebel lobbed a grenade at a wine store in Jaddigittim market area injuring two people and damaging the wine store. Police said the grenade attack was to mount pressure on businessmen in the area to comply with the GNLA’s extortion demands.The injured were rushed to a hospital and were released after first aid.Police have registered a case and a man hunt is on to nab the rebels.The GNLA, one of five Garo rebel groups fighting for a separate Garoland in western Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rebel Champion R. Sangma.Champion Sangma is presently lodged in a Shillong jail after he was arrested from the India-Bangladesh border last year.The GNLA, which has over 100 rebels, is operating in East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills, has been declared a terrorist outfit.
Over 40 people, including security personnel, have been killed while more than 10 people were abducted for ransom by GNLA rebels in the last three years.
Five policemen killed in GNLA ambush
Militants of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) ambushed a police vehicle at Bangjakona in South Garo Hills district of Meghalaya on 5th November,2013, killing five policemen and making away with three AK-47 rifles and a carbine. The killings occurred two days after suspected GNLA militants gunned down seven persons and injured nine others at Gendamari in Lower Assam’s Goalpara district, close to the Assam-Meghalaya border, on Sunday night. A group of militants ambushed the team from the Baghmara police station around 11 a.m. as it went to Tura, headquarters of West Garo Hills district, to bring an accused. The GNLA carried out the attack because it had of late suffered severe reverses at the hands of the Meghalaya police. The GNLA has been fighting for a separate state for the Garos. P.R. Sangma alias Champion R. Sangma, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police, founded the outfit in 2009 after deserting the Meghalaya police. On Monday, the Assam government decided to launch counterinsurgency operations in areas along the border with Meghalaya.
Five migrant mine workers shot dead by militants
Five migrant coal mine workers in a remote coal mining area Darangdura of Nangalbibra in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district were shot dead by suspected militants of United Achik Liberation Army (UALA), a breakaway faction of the militant outfit Achik National Volunteer Council (B), on 20th May,2013.
All the five slain coal mine workers hailed from lower Assam’s Goalpara district. He said that the suspected UALA militants called out the workers from their labour camps and sprayed bullets from their weapons killing five of them on the spot. The victims were identified as Hobibul Ali, Anwar Ali, Mokidur Islam, Rizabul Ali and Motaliff.
The DC said that the killing occurred just after about half an hour after he had put his signature on an order banning coal mining activities in the entire district under Section 133 of Cr.PC to prevent coal mine collapse or caving in of mines. Mr. Gotmare said that he was apprehensive that due to incessant rain in the district for past few days coal mines might collapse and result in loss of human lives and therefore issued the order.
“According to our information the coal mine owner Amitabh Sangma received some ransom note from some people claiming themselves to be militants of UALA. The militants went to the coal mine around noon yesterday (Monday) and asked the workers to stop their mining activities. The workers obliged immediately out of fear for their lives. Around 4 p.m. the militants went to the mining area and called out the mine workers from their camps and fired upon them indiscriminately killing five of them on the spot,” he added.
The police team from Nangalbibra could reach the spot late in the night after walking for about 10 km as the coal mine is located in a remote place. Mr. Gotmare said that it was suspected that the UALA had killed the mining workers in a bid to create terror and extort money from businessmen, mine owners and others.
In July 2012, about 15 coal mine workers were feared buried in a rat-hole coalmine in Rongsa Awe village Nangalbibra area of the district when water gushed in from an adjacent, flooded, abandoned mine when the workers accidentally punctured its wall. The DC said that the incident was still shrouded in a mystery as National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams found no evidence of any survivor nor did locate body of miner after completely draining out the water from the mine.
Migrant workers fleeing Meghalaya after 8 killed
Hundreds of panic-stricken migrant labourers have started fleeing the insurgency-ravaged Garo Hills region in western Meghalaya after eight coal miners were killed.A government official said up to 5,000 migrant workers, mainly from Assam, have left several areas of Garo Hills, fearing fresh attacks on non-indigenous workers. “Despite our best attempts at convincing them that they had adequate security cover, the workers were reluctant to stay back in Meghalaya”.Over 3,000 migrant labourers started fleeing the South Garo Hills district, bordering Bangladesh, following 23rd July,2013, gruesome murder of eight coal miners.
“People are being killed like cats and dogs. I don’t want to get killed here”, said Shafikul Islam, a migrant construction labourer working on a house in South Garo Hills, as he prepared to leave for his native village in Assam.On 28th July,2013, night, eight migrant coal miners were killed and three others wounded in the Garegittim and Nongalbibra areas in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district, when a group of unidentified assailants went on a rampage. Seven of those killed are from Assam’s Goalpara and one from Assam’s Dhubri district.
“About 3,500 migrant workers and those working in coal mine areas in South Garo Hills district have started fleeing to their respective homes for safety in Assam, following the killings”. Sunday’s gruesome attacks on the coal miners came after a mob turned violent while protesting an alleged bid to molest a mentally-challenged girl on Friday night at Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
A migrant labourer from Assam was killed and three vehicles were set ablaze by that mob, forcing authorities to clamp curfew in the entire district.