Commandos launch midnight operation, arrest hardcore militant

In a midnight operation, special commandos raided a remote village in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district arresting a hardcore militant of a newly formed rebel group, police said today.

Acting on a tip-off on the presence of militants of the A'chik Songna An'pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) group in the area, Special Weapons and Tactics commandos raided the village late last night, Inspector General of Police (Operation) G H P Raju told PTI today.

As the SWAT commandos reached Rangmanpara village, the group of six to seven ASAK militants fired upon them, Raju said.

The gun battle lasted for a few minutes, he said.

In the cross firing, the cadre sustained bullet injuries in his legs and a pistol, a walkie talkie, a mobile phone and an ID was recovered from his possession, the police officer said.

Raju said, "Rongma A Marak, a hardcore cadre of the ASAK was arrested by the police in a midnight operation last night in a remote village in South Garo Hills."

Marak was rushed to the nearest health centre which referred him to Tura Civil Hospital. The militant was out of danger. Operations in the area continued to nab the other militants who, however, escaped, Raju said.

The ASAK militant group is one of the newly formed groups, active in the Garo Hills region, after their leader Reding T Sangma parted ways with the Sohan D Shira-led Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in February this year.