Meghalaya official untraced for over a monthBy IANS
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
SHILLONG - It has been over a month since a state transport officer and his driver were kidnapped by the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) in Meghalaya but even now the police have no idea of their whereabouts, an official said Wednesday.
Five armed men of the GNLA Sep 30 kidnapped Rominus Syngkon, district transport officer of East Garo Hills district, and his driver from his residence in Williamnagar in western Meghalaya.
“We have no specific information about their whereabouts (but) they are within Garo Hills region,” East Garo Hills district police chief Sylvester Nongtynger told IANS.
He said the police forces have made all efforts to trace and rescue the captives but the rugged terrain and dense jungle have prevented them. “But our search and rescue operation to secure the safe release of the official and his driver is continuing,” Nongtynger added.
Earlier, the outlawed Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), which operates in the three districts of Garo Hills region, offered its assistance to police in rescuing the abducted official and his aide.
“They (police) have not responded to our offer till now and whenever a request from them reaches us, we would surely assist them in rescuing the official,” ANVC spokesperson Torik Jangning Marak told IANS.
ANVC, which is demanding a Garoland Autonomous Council, is currently observing a ceasefire with the government.
The GNLA had earlier sent extortion demand of Rs.60 lakh to Syngkon through text messages. However, Syngkon did not yield to the demand.
Sohan D. Shira, chief of the military wing of GNLA, claimed that his outfit abducted Syngkon for having “crossed the limit of corruption”.
Shira, however, said that “the outfit kidnapped the official not to kill but to teach him a lesson by using force”. He also assured media that the official would be “released unharmed”.
Syngkon’s family members have refused to speak to the media.
The GNLA, one of the five Garo rebel groups, is fighting for a sovereign Garoland. It is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma, whose followers are mainly deserters of the outlawed ANVC and other rebel outfits.
The outfit is believed to have links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah), the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).