Meghalaya: Commandos launch rescue operation to trace hostages

United News of India

Shillong, November 22, 2011

Hundreds of Meghalaya police and Combat Battalion for Resolute Action(CoBRA) are fanning out in the dense Dadenggre reserve forest in West Garo Hills district to rescue a government official and two Assam-based traders abducted by tribal Garo militants, a police official said today.

Dadenggre Block Development Officer P K Boro and two businessmen - Dulal Modak and Rockybul Haq - were abducted yesterday from two locations by armed men, suspected to be Garo National Liberation Army(GNLA) militants.

The needle of suspicion is pointed at the GNLA. However, the tribal Garo militant outfit is yet to confirm its involvement.

Mr Boro was abducted by a group of six men at gun point from his office at Dadenggre, while the two traders were kidnapped from Kalchengpara weekly market under Selsella block.

"The whereabouts of the hostages are still unknown, but a rescue operation is on to trace them inside the Dadenggre reserve forest," Inspector General of Police (Western Range) G H P Raju told UNI.

Though no ransom demand had been made yet to family members of the abducted people, preliminary investigation revealed that the GNLA militants had served an extortion note of Rs 50 lakh to the abducted block official.

The GNLA had earlier slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1 crore on petrol pump owners, coal dealers and businessmen in the coal-rich districts of Garo Hills.

The outfit is headed by suspended deputy superintendent of police Champion R Sangma. It is fighting for a "separate Garoland" formed within the framework of the Indian Constitution.