Gunbattle erupts between Garo rebels, security forces

 June 5, Shillong: An intense gun battle erupted in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district on Thursday, and lasted for 6 hours as security forces launched a crackdown on a militant hideout, an official said.

There were no reports yet if anyone was arrested or killed in the crackdown in Adugre area, about 370km from here.

“The gun battle is on as rebels are continuing with their firing. The Special Weapons and Tactics team and Combat Battalion for Resolute Action commandos are retaliating,” Davies N R Marak, the district police chief, said.

The crackdown was launched on the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) camp two days after members of the militant group killed a 35-year-old Garo woman. The rebels shot her dead in front of her children after she resisted their rape bid.

GNLA has claimed responsibility over the cold blooded murder alleging that the women was the police source and informant and was responsible for the death of the outfit training instructor Kram.

“Some cadres of the GNLA were on a mission to eliminate this woman. She fled away but on the fateful day she came back and got executed. The GNLA shall never spare anyone if he or she is responsible for the death of our cadres” Bikdot Nikjang Marak GNLA’s political affair secretary said.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo tribal rebel groups, is fighting for a separate Garoland to be carved out of Meghalaya.

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