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Monday, June 24, 2024

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Monday, June 24, 2024

Gunman shot in GH firefight


West Garo Hills police have shot dead an unidentified armed man who reportedly attacked a police patrol party with sophisticated weapons in the forested area between Chibinang and Dadenggre late Sunday night.

The incident occurred when police teams were on patrol duty across the area to catch a criminal gang that had planned to kidnap traders coming to purchase arecanut from Dadenggre region.

This is peak season for the sale of arecanut (betelnut) in Garo Hills and hundreds of traders from Assam flock to the region for this high-in-demand cash crop.

An AK rifle with several rounds of ammunitions along with detonators used for explosions have been recovered from the scene of the gun battle.

West Garo Hills superintendent of police V S Rathore told The Meghalayan that police had obtained credible source information on Sunday about an impending abduction of traders by a group of armed men in the area.

“A credible source information was received on April 10 at around 07.30 pm to the effect that some armed miscreants are planning to kidnap businessmen who are frequently coming from plain belt area towards Dadenggre area to purchase betel nut etc. Accordingly, all field units were directed to remain on high alert and conduct checking of all vehicles through the night,” he said.

He said that mobile patrolling teams began conducting area domination and surprise mobile patrolling along the routes from Tura to Phulbari via Selsella and back to Tura via Dadenggre and Rongram.

It was during one such patrolling duty that the attack took place.

“While the patrolling team was proceeding from Chibinang towards Dadenggre, at around 1.15 am, a group of 3-5 armed miscreants ambushed the patrolling team at a place in Magalpara village near the newly built RCC Bridge,” Rathore said.

The firing from the gunmen reportedly hit one of the Maruti Gypsy vehicles of the patrolling team and caused damage to the left head light and also punctured a left tyre.

“Our patrolling team retaliated in self-defence promptly and an exchange of fire started which lasted for around five minutes.

When the firing stopped, the place of occurrence was secured and information was immediately passed to the District Magistrate, West Garo Hills and other higher officials,” the SP said.

After the arrival of a magistrate, a search was conducted resulting in the discovery of an unidentified male body with gunshot wounds lying in the undergrowth.

Police also recovered from the encounter site an AK rifle with a magazine and 34 live rounds of 7.62 mm, 45 empty casings of the same calibre as well as 22 empty cases of 9mm calibre used in pistols, three non-electric detonators with four gelatine explosive sticks and safety fuse, besides other items.

The body of the unidentified man has been brought to Tura Civil Hospital morgue for post-mortem examination, but so far no one has come forward to claim or identify the body.

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