TURA, March 13 - The South Garo Hills (SGH) Police recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition after an encounter with suspected ULFA(I) faction militants led by the elusive Dristhi Rajkhowa.
The incident took place at Bolbokgre village at about 8:30 pm on March 11.
According to police sources, following inputs regarding presence of a group of militants holed up near Bolbokgre village in the district, a team of policemen were sent there. On seeing the police, the militants fired indiscriminately leading to the police opening retaliatory fire. Sources confirmed that Dristhi Rajkhowa was present at the encounter site.
�The militants escaped but left behind a huge cache of arms and ammunition at the encounter site. A search operation is on to nab them,� said Superintendent of Police, SGH, Priyangshu Pandey.
The recoveries included 3 large arms, including a country made rifle, 3 pistols, walkie talkies, camping gear along with a huge cache of bullets for various caliber guns. Interestingly, demand pads of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) were also found there.
The GNLA and ULFA(I) had close relation during the heights of militancy in Garo Hills, with the two groups sharing intel as well as cadres, guns and ammunition. However, since the death of then GNLA commander-in-chief Sohan D Shira, militancy has taken a back seat with most militants surrendering or being arrested by the police.
�We are investigating as to what the militants were doing in the area. Our efforts are also on to nab those that escaped on the night,� the SP said and added that ULFA(I) militants, after the death of Sohan, have mostly moved towards Bangladesh although they also keep frequenting the border areas as well.