Kidnapped Meghalaya official still untraced

Last Updated: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 22:45

Shillong: Five security teams have been
fanned out to trace a Meghalaya transport department official
and his aide who were kidnapped by suspected Garo militants on
Thursday night.

District Transport Officer of East Garo Hills R
Syngkon and the aide posted at his official residence at
Williamnagar, the district headquarter town, were kidnapped at
gunpoint by armed militants of the Garo National Liberation
Army who had earlier served an extortion demand of Rs 60 lakh
to the officer.

Police have identified two hideouts of the militants
and five teams are conducting combing operations in these
areas, East Garo Hills deputy commissioner Pravin Bakshi said.

About five to seven militants of the Garo National
Liberation Army (GNLA) were involved in the kidnapping.

While a group waited outside his residence, two of the
militants armed with AK 47 rifles entered Syngkon`s residence,
threatened him and took him away in his official vehicle along
with his ACC (the `aide in accommodation` deputed at his
official residence) Thursday night.

The vehicle was found abandoned at Dawegre, about 10
km from Williamnagar, yesterday morning.

Intelligence agencies have intercepted a message
between top GNLA leader Sohan D Shira and the militants who
kidnapped the officer communicating that the "mission was
accomplished".

Police were receiving information from villagers who
claimed to have spotted the militants and operations were
being launched in the areas, sources said.

Bakshi said additional PSOs have been provided to
senior officers in the district following the incident.

Last night, Transport Minister A T Mondal reviewed the
situation with the DGP, officials of the Home and Transport
Department.

The kidnapped officer had received a ransom demand of
Rs 60 lakh from the GNLA, a nascent militant outfit formed by
a deserter DSP of Meghalaya Police.

Many senior government officials, including SDOs and
BDOs, in the state have been slapped extortion demands
amounting to several lakhs by the outfit over the last few
months, creating a fear psychosis in the Garo hills belt.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - 22:45

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