Militant demands ransom for release of MLA's brother

Banned militant outfit Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), which abducted the brother of a Meghalaya MLA, today demanded Rs 20 lakh ransom from family members of Naga M Sangma, police said.

Naga who was abducted on the night of January 30 has remained untraced even as police believed he has been kept captive in the camps of the outfit in the Garo Hills.

"Intelligence inputs gathered so far revealed that the militant outfit has slapped a Rs 20 lakh ransom for the safe release of Naga Sangma," a top police official said.

He said the ransom demand was made by the militant outfit in the last 72 hours to one of the family members.

On January 30, four heavily armed GNLA militants abducted Naga at gunpoint from his house in the Gasuapara area in South Garo hills district, about 400 km from the state capital.

The CRPF's Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and State's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos were on their heels on a search and rescue operation since the past three days.

Naga is also a businessman who uses the Gasuapara Land Custom Station in South Garo Hills district to export coal and timber.

The outfit which was banned by the Centre had slapped extortion demands ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1 crore on petrol pump owners, coal dealers and businessmen, besides government officials in the district.

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