their kidnapping spree, the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army
(GNLA) Saturday abducted three road engineers of a Hyderabad-based
road construction company in insurgency-ravaged Garo Hills in
Manoj Kumar, Deepak Kumar and A.K.Sharma, of the BSC-C & C (JV)
road construction company, were kidnapped by a group of heavily
armed GNLA rebels in East Garo Hills district, Inspector General
of Police (western range) F.D. Sangma said.
The Hyderabad-based firm was awarded a contract to construct a
two-lane 94 km road at an estimated Rs.1,494 crore to connect
Shillong to Tura, the most important town in Garo Hills region via
Nongstoin, the district headquarters of West Khasi Hills.
"A group of GNLA rebels waylaid their (engineers) vehicle at Dambu
Aga Reserve Forest and kidnapped the three engineers at gunpoint
while they proceeding to Assam," Sangma told IANS.
Two other occupants of the vehicle, including the driver of the
vehicle, who were freed unharmed, reported the incident to Rongmil
Sangma said the motive of the rebels to abduct the engineers was
to made ransom demands.
Intelligence agencies and the state police officials said that the
GNLA had earlier sent extortion demands amounting to crore of
IANS was unable to reach to the BSC-C & C (JV) officials to
confirm whether the outlawed Garo outfit had served any extortion
"The search operation is on to rescue the engineers from the
clutches of the rebels but so far we have no inputs on the exact
locations were the engineers have been put," Sangma said.
On Friday, the Garo rebels abducted two prominent ginger
businessmen - Inadul Islam and Mosa Bapari - at gunpoint in West
Garo Hills district. The rebels have reportedly made ransom demand
for their safe release.
Meanwhile, Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and
Meghalaya's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos have been
pressed into service to rescue the abducted people.
GNLA has been fighting for a separate Garoland in five
impoverished districts of Garo Hills in western Meghalaya.
Over 35 people, including security personnel, have been killed
while more than 15 people were abducted for ransom in the area in
the last year by GNLA rebels.
The GNLA has over 100 rebels, including a few women cadre. The
outfit has reportedly procured a cache of HK 53 rifles and
explosives to augment their arsenal.
The outfit has earlier attempted to extort huge sums of money,
ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore, from government officials,
ministers, legislators and businessmen.