A ‘routine’ case of abduction in Meghalaya has turned out to be strategic terrorist operation against intelligence agencies.
On Thursday morning, suspected armed rebels stopped a car from near Rongara village in Meghalaya’s South Garo Hills district, made its 12 passengers line up on the road, singled out two non-tribal men and let the others go. They took the two hostages and slipped into a forest.
The local police later identified the abducted men as Bikash Singh, a central government employee, and Kamal Saha, a cloth merchant. Extortion was believed to have been the motive behind the abduction, dubbed an ‘industry’ in Meghalaya.
But 24 hours later, police found out Singh was an Intelligence Bureau official posted in the Garo Hills presumably to keep tabs on at least 10 militant outfits.
“He is an IB officer. There are conflicting reports about whether he is alive or not, but there is no confirmation from the local police. We have taken the help of the local villagers to find out who could have taken him, and where,” Meghalaya’s inspector general of police (operations) GHP Raju told HT from state capital Shillong.
The needle of suspicion is on the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and the newly-floated Achik Songna Anpachakgipa Kotok.
Raju added that some 100 policemen headed by an IGP and lesser officers have been combing the area to locate Singh as well as Saha.
South Garo Hills district, border Bangladesh, has a treacherous terrain. On March 10, GNLA militants had ambushed and killed four police personnel near the spot where Thursday’s abduction happened.