Shillong: Outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants in Meghalaya's Garo Hills region have resorted to a brutal caning at suspected police informers in several villages as a mechanism to deter others from providing information to the police, an official said on Friday.
The matter came to light after police recovered a mobile phone from the possession of one of the cadres of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militants who was gunned down by police in an encounter earlier this week, they said.
"We found out that the GNLA has adopted this strategy (brutally caning suspected informers) to threaten villagers with an intention to deter any of them getting close with the police," Inspector General of Police GHP Raju told PTI.
The video clip has exposed the brutality of the militants as it showed several villagers suspected to be police informers being thrashed brutally by a group of GNLA cadres who seemed to have gone to the village to create havoc there, he said.
Police suspected that the militants had resorted to caning at innocent villagers to ensure that they have a safe place to hide from the police, engaged in the combing operations.
Counter Insurgency Operation 'Hill Storm' launched in the first week of July is yielding results with at least 11-12 camps of the GNLA busted, Raju said.
In the operation which would continue for another month or two, 25 militants belonging to GNLA, ULFA, ASAK, and other militant groups were arrested from various hideouts and several sophisticated arms recovered.
Earlier in June this year, a group of GNLA cadres had gone to a village in South Garo Hills and killed 35-year-old Josbina Marak merely on suspicion that she was a police informer.
The official claimed that the police do not use innocent villagers as informers as such action would lead to collateral damages and put the villagers at risk.
The banned outfit has also threatened to conduct a wave of serial blasts in Garo Hills region targeting government institutions and Congress offices in retaliation against Chief Minister Mukul Sangma's alleged sidelining them for peace talks while preparing the groundwork for peace negotiations with the Khasi outfit, the HNLC.
The GNLA was declared a militant outfit and banned by the Centre in 2012.