TURA, April 6 � Suspected militants belonging to the proscribed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) went on a killing spree raiding a depot belonging to one of the biggest coal exporters of Garo Hills and shot dead five of its labourers in the interior of South Garo Hills district late Tuesday night in retaliation for the exporter�s failure to submit to its extortion demands.
Heavily armed GNLA militants numbering between seven to nine cadres swooped down on the depot of coal baron Azghar Ali at Goka village, 2 kms from Masighat, shortly before midnight and opened indiscriminate firing with AK-47 rifles on the sleeping labourers killing five and injuring one seriously while another managed to escape the massacre.
Masighat is 15 kms from Baghmara, the district headquarters of south Garo Hills.
This is the second instance of the GNLA militants being involved in killing of coal labourers. A few months ago the outfit had targeted another coal dealer by shooting dead two migrant labourers at a coal quarry because its owner had failed to pay extortion money.
The deceased from Tuesday�s massacre have been identified as Ram Badan Yadav (40) from Utter Pradesh, Suha Gin (36) from Assam, Habibul (20) from Mancachar, Assam, Noor Md (42) from Mahendraganj, West Garo Hills, Jamin (40) from Mancachar. The seriously injured is Rakib Miya (25) from Mancachar who is battling for his life. The bodies of the slain labourers and the seriously injured have been shifted to Tura Civil Hospital on Wednesday morning.
Police sources revealed that GNLA militants had served a demand note of Rs one crore on the coal exporting company of Azghar Ali called the Good luck Export Company of Gasuapara. Failure on the part of the baron to fulfil the outfit�s diktat has apparently led the GNLA to send a chilling message in the form of murder of innocent labourers.