Commados mistakenly kill two Meghalaya cops

July 3rd, 2011 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, July 3 (IANS) Two policemen, engaged in a crackdown against Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels in Meghalaya, were killed in accidental firing by the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos Sunday, police said.

“Two of our boys died this morning in accidental firing with the SWAT commandos in the foothills of Durama hill range near Dorengchigre,” a police officer told IANS.

Dorengchigre village is located in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, the heartland of GNLA rebel outfit led by a police officer-turned rogue Champion R. Sangma.

The officer, who wished not to be named, said that Exmarting Marak and Gopal Prasad Nunia came under fire after their team wrongly intruded into an area inside the jungle which was cordoned off by the state police’s commandos.

The slain policemen belong to Meghalaya Police’s fifth battalion.

“Apparently, the commandos thought that the policemen inside the cordoned-off area were GNLA rebels and fired at them, which led to both parties exchanging fire,” the officer added, brushing aside any foul play in the incident.

Based on inputs on the presence of a GNLA camp near Dorengchigre village, the SWAT team had launched a crackdown and cordoned off the area.

Stating that the killing was accidental, state Home Minister H.D.R Lyngdoh said that the government will soon order a departmental inquiry.

“I have sought for a detailed report from the superintendent of police of the district …the report will be followed by a departmental inquiry,” Lyngdoh told IANS.

Garo Hills region, the most backward region in Meghalaya, has witnessed spurt of GNLA’s anti-national activities in the recent months.

The GNLA has forged close operational links with other northeast-based insurgent groups like the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).

The GNLA’s foot soldiers are deserters, mostly from the NDFB, the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC) and the Liberation of Achik Elite Force (LAEF).

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