SHILLONG, Feb 5 � After being held captive by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) for eleven days, the two engineers were freed last night unharmed.
Assistant executive engineer Apus Pohthmi and junior engineer Bonnieface Majaw of the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited serving in West Garo Hills were freed on Saturday night.
On January 24, GNLA rebels abducted Pothmi, Majaw and another engineer, Marshal R Swer at gunpoint from their residential quarters in Rongkhon, West Garo Hills. Swer was, however, released by the militants.
�The two engineers were released Saturday night at about 10.30 pm and no harm was done to them. We have no reports of ransom being exchanged during the release,� Meghalaya Director General of Police N Ramachandran said.
The engineers were abducted by the GNLA allegedly in protest against poor power supply in the rural areas of Garo Hills. The GNLA after the abduction said it wants a convincing reply from the State Government why the three districts of Garo Hills face acute power shortages.
The State Government claimed that it has launched various schemes for improving power supply in the three districts of Garo Hills, including the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification programme.
Various civil society groups had condemned the abductions stating that human rights must be respected and the alleged failure of the government cannot be passed on to the government officials and victimised.
It was largely due to the public pressure, both in Khasi and Garo Hills that the GNLA relented and released the engineers, although the GNLA has made no statement so far.
The Central Government has declared the GNLA as a terrorist organisation for the atrocities it continues to perpetrate in the three districts of Garo Hills.
Last year, over ten people were abducted by GNLA rebels for ransom from Garo Hills. Recently, the outfit abducted a coal baron from West Khasi Hills district.