TURA, June 18 � In a major setback to the Assam-based anti-talks faction of the NDFB, Garo Hills police shot dead two militants, one of whom is believed to be its general secretary during a pre-dawn operation that was meant to flush out Garo National Liberation Army militants from near Mendipather area on Saturday.
Security forces also confiscated weapons and explosives thereby bringing to light the outfit�s involvement with the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in a recent ambush on a police patrol party that led to the death of three security personnel and injury to two others.
Former militants from the NDFB who knew the general secretary well are being brought to Mendipather to examine the two militants killed. They will ascertain whether the deceased happen to be NDFB General Secretary Dijn Dhigwra Narzary and his bodyguard Bwidha.
�Our intelligence reports indicated that there were as many as 12 heavily armed militants suspected to be from the GNLA and NDFB inside Gure Simran village when we decided to raid the place,� informed JFK Marak, East Garo Hills Superintendent of Police. The village is on the foothills of a hill, close to Bangsi Apal village, between Mendipather and Dainadubi towns.
Special police commandos together with army personnel from the Damra-based 9th Sikh Light Infantry launched the operation shortly after 3 am but was met with stiff resistance from the militants who were holed up at an isolated house in the village.
After several minutes of firing from both sides, the security forces came across the bodies of the two Bodo militants inside one of the houses. Two other militants who were with them managed to escape under cover of darkness.
It was later revealed that another eight Garo militants belonging to the GNLA and under the command of the outfit�s northern zone area commander Rakkam Marak had managed to escape the police dragnet by slipping out from the village the previous evening itself.
Security forces seized one AK assault rifle with two live magazines of ammo, three grenades, two mobile phones, two wireless sets, large quantity of assorted ammunition, NDFB documents and a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
Since the IED was attached to a battery, the security forces were unwilling to take chances. It was taken out and army personnel conducted a safe detonation of the IED outside the village.
From the hideout of the militants, the police recovered empty shells of AK and Insas rifle indicating that the militants were using government-allotted weapons which they had apparently taken from security forces during attacks. It is believed that the Insas rifle may have belonged to the police personnel who were ambushed by GNLA-NDFB-ULFA militants at Tapa Darengchi village, near Mendipather on June 4.