Two militants killed in Meghalaya encounter

Security forces encountered immense success in counter-insurgency operations in the past 24 hours in Meghalaya.

While two hardcore militants were gunned down in the North Garo Hills, bordering Assam, four militants belonging to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland-Songbijit (NDFB-S) and a most-wanted explosives supplier were arrested with a cache of explosives in the East Jaintia Hills district in the state on Sunday.

Police sources said acting on a tip-off, a joint operation team of the Indian Army, with commandos of the Meghalaya Police and Central security forces, launched an offensive in the North Garo Hills around 4 am on Sunday.

As the searched the area, they were fired upon by militants reportedly belonging to the Achik Matgrik Elite Force (AMEF) at the Assam-Meghalaya border. The team retaliated heavily.

In the subsequent combing operation, the bodies of two militants, suspected to be AMEF cadres, were found. The AMEF is a splinter group of the Garo National Liberation Army that dominates the Garo Hills.

The security forces also recovered two pistols and other incriminating objects from the spot. Sources said the deceased were hardcore militants trying to dominate the Assam-Meghalaya border in the Garo Hills and collect huge amount of money as extortion.

Meanwhile, in yet another counter-insurgency operation in the state, four hardcore militants — suspected explosive experts of banned outfit NDFB-S — along with a wanted explosives dealer were nabbed by security forces in the early hours of Sunday from the East Jaintia Hills district.

Police sources from state capital Shillong said the security forces recovered 144 gelatine sticks and 126 detonators from their possession.

The arrest took place after an intelligence input about the presence of suspected militants at Byndihati village. Among the arrested are self-styled NDFB-S commander Bolashi Boro and his deputy Santosh Kharkekary alias K Shimang.

A team from the Assam Police will be sent to Shillong on Monday to help in the investigation, added the sources. The arrests come close on the heels of a Ministry of Home Affairs alert to all North-Eastern states that local militants groups are trying to sneak IEDs into the region to attack security forces engaged in stepped-up counter-insurgency operations following the June 4 ambush in Manipur’s Chandel district, where 18 Indian Army jawans lost their lives.

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