DIPHU, June 23 � In a fierce encounter between militants of the United Peoples Liberation Army (UPLA) and Assam Police personnel at Daldali Hanseybasti near Diphu town in the wee hours today, a constable of the 23rd Indian Reserve Battalion and a militant were killed, while the police recovered an AK-47 rifle and a huge quantity of assorted ammunition from the slain insurgent.
According to police, Gautam Koch (28), the police constable who died in the encounter, was a resident of village Balijan, Bakalia, about 65 kilometres from Diphu.
The slain UPLA cadre has been identified as Rajib Engleng (29) of Ramsing Hansey village located within Daldali general area under Diphu Police Station. Police said Rajib was an ex-cadre of the disbanded UPDS.
The operation was directed by Additional Superintendent of Police Bolin Deuri, based on specific information about the presence of UPLA militants in the area.
As the security personnel zeroed in on the militants� hideout, the ultras opened fire. Consequently a fierce encounter took place and it continued for about an hour. One of the UPLA cadres managed to get away amid the police firing, while the other died.
This is the second encounter between UPLA radicals and security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Karbi Anglong in less than a month. Three police personnel lost their lives in the two encounters. In the earlier encounter that had taken place in the first week of this month, Hamren SP NN Goswami and his PSO Ratul Nunisa were killed.
After the post-mortem at the Diphu Civil Hospital, the mortal remains of Gautam Koch were taken to his native village where the cremation was done with full state honours in presence of senior police and civil officers and hundreds of villagers. Bakalia observed a spontaneous shutdown today as a mark of respect to the young policeman who had married last year.