Top ULFA (I) commander escapes during encounter with police in Meghalaya - Eastern Mirror
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Top ULFA (I) commander escapes during encounter with police in Meghalaya

By PTI Updated: Mar 13, 2020 11:41 pm

Tura (Meghalaya), March 13 (PTI): A top ULFA (Independent) militant managed to escape during an encounter with the Meghalaya Police in South Garo Hills district, police sources said on Friday.

Self-proclaimed deputy commander-in-chief of ULFA(I) Drishti Rajkhowa alias Manoj Rabha was among the militants who escaped during the exchange of fire at Bolbokgre village in the evening of March 11, they said.

A huge cache of arms and ammunition were left behind by the ULFA(I) militants, a senior police officer said.

Three rifles, three pistols, walkie talkie sets, camping gears and a large number of bullets, besides “demand pads” of the banned Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) outfit used in extorting money were seized, he said.

Acting on a tip-off about the presence of a group of militants near Bolbokgre, a police team was sent to nab them, district Superintendent of Police Priyangshu Pandey said.

“Seeing the police team, the militants fired indiscriminately leading to retaliatory action by the personnel. However, they were able to escape, leaving behind a huge cache of arms and ammunition. A search operation has been launched to nab them,” Pandey said.

The SP said that investigation is on to find out the reason behind the presence of ULFA(I) militants in the area.

He said that since the death of GNLA leader Sohan D Shira, ULFA(I) militants have mostly fled to Bangladesh but they keep frequenting the bordering areas in India.

“We have found many GNLA demand pads that could still be used to extort money in the Garo Hills region,” Pandey said.

The GNLA and the ULFA(I) worked in close coordination during the height of militancy in the Garo Hills, they said.

Both the outfits shared intelligence inputs, cadres, firearms and ammunition, the sources said.

However, militant activities in the region have come down since Shira was shot dead by the Meghalaya Police in February 2018, following which a large number of cadres of the outfit have either surrendered or were arrested, they added.

By PTI Updated: Mar 13, 2020 11:41:54 pm