Eight killed, government office attacked in Meghalaya

August 16th, 2011 - 9:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 16 (IANS) At least eight people were killed Tuesday in two separate incidents even as Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels hurled grenades at a government office during a 12-hour shutdown called by the group in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region, an official said.

The GNLA had the shutdown to protest against the killing of its four cadres in a shootout with Speacial Weapons and Tactics commandos last week.

The rebels hurled two grenades at the office of Block Development Officer of Chokpot in South Garo Hills bordering Bangladesh. No one was injured in the incident.

“Eight people have died in two seperate incidents. Six, including two women and an infant were killed in a landslip at Tura,” the district headquarters of West Garo Hills, Chief Secretary W.M.S.Pariat told IANS, adding that two truckers were gunned down by GNLA rebels at Thapa Darenchi in East Garo Hills district bordering Assam.

He said landslips have taken place due to incessant rains during the last couple of days in the Garo Hills region in western Meghalaya.

All major rivers in the Garo Hills region were flowing above the danger mark Tuesday, with flood waters spreading to many lowlying areas and affecting a large number of people, he said.

The authorities have asked thousands of people to shift to safer places following the rising water levels of the Jingjiram river.

Pariat said landslips have blocked and cut off several roads, including national highways 51 and 52 that link Garo Hills regions in the western part of Meghalaya with the rest of the country.

“Our rescue teams are on the job and the local administration in their respective districts are at work to clear the debris from the road to resume road connectivity as early as possible,” Pariat said.

Shops, businesses and educational institutions remained closed while there was little movement of public and private transport during the GNLA shutdown.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign Garoland. It has forged an operational alliance with the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.

Home Minister H.D.R.Lyngdoh said that he has instructed the district admnistration to provide all neccessary help to the people in the flood affected areas.

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