Grenade hurled at Meghalaya minister`s house

Suspected Garo rebels lobbed grenade at private house of Meghalaya Community and Rural Development Minister Saleng A. Sangma in Meghalaya`s West Garo Hills district. No injuries were reported.

Shillong: Suspected Garo rebels Saturday lobbed a powerful grenade at the private house of Meghalaya Community and Rural Development Minister Saleng A. Sangma in the state`s West Garo Hills district, police said. No injuries were reported but the house was damaged.

The minister was not present in the house at Ringreygittim in district headquarters Tura at the time of attack (7 p.m.)

"Suspected GNLA (Garo National Liberation Army) rebels lobbed a Chinese grenade at the private residence of the minister, damaging a portion of the house," Meghalaya Police Chief Kulbir Krishan told IANS.

Sangma, who is in Shillong, told IANS that none of his family members who were present in the house were injured in the attack.

"We are investigating the incident and a man-hunt is on to arrest the perpetrators," Krishan said.

Intelligence officials said the rebel who lobbed the grenade has been identified.

This was the second attempt of the outlawed GNLA to target Sangma.

On Nov 2, the GNLA rebels laid an improvised explosive devices in Nalnapara-Kherapara stretch of the road to target Sangma. However, police averted the possible blast.

Police said they will further review Sangma`s security.

The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland, is headed by Champion R. Sangma, a former deputy superintendent of police who deserted and floated the GNLA in November 2009. He is currently in police custody.

The outfit, which has been outlawed by the government, forged operational alliances with the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which provided it access to sophisticated arms and ammunition.

GNLA rebels, who number around 100, unleashed terror in three impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last one year and killed over 35 people, including security personnel.