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Incidents and Statements involving LAEF: 2016



Nature of incident

February 19

Samanda Kalsanang Adinggittim village / West Garo Hills District

A cadre of LAEF, identified as Rosthon N Marak alias Kimjim, who orchestrated several kidnappings in East Garo Hills was arrested after Police raided his house in Samanda Kalsanang Adinggittim village in West Garo Hills District. The arrested cadre belonged to the LAEF faction headed by one Augustine and at one point of time was behind several kidnappings of traders and businessmen including a coal dealer. Police had been on the trail of the fugitive Rosthon for quite a while but he had managed to slip away in previous instances.

March 14 Shillong

Reacting to the statement made by Meghalaya CM Mukul Sangma in the Assembly recently, the infamous Garo Mandei of GNLA has challenged what proof he has with regard to his claims about outfit chief, Sohan D Shira during his rehabilitation at Mayiong in Shillong. In a statement issued in Tura, Garo Mandei was all praises for Sohan and instead accused the CM of working together with the leaders of the ANVC to harass him and eventually driving him back into the jungles. "He was well established in different lines of business but the leaders of the ANVC couldn't accept his success ultimately taking away his legal sources of income (businesses) and even trying to eliminate him. Sohan, knowing all this disposed off all the weapons, ammunition, etc to Late Peter Marak [founder and chairman of LAEF] with whom he later joined up to strengthen the LAEF. But Peter Marak was arrested at Jorabat and was brought to Garo Hills where he died in a fake encounter," he said.

April 5

Dobu area / East Garo Hills District

Suspected LAEF militants abducted a car mechanic, identified as Prafulla Roy (40), from Dobu area in East Garo Hills District. A FIR has been filed in this regard at Williamnagar Police Station of the District.

April 13

Rongjeng forest / East Garo Hills District

The 'commander-in-chief' of one of the splinter groups of the LAEF was killed in an encounter with Police in Rongjeng forest in East Garo Hills District. Police launched an operation in the forests of Chichra village under Rongjeng Police Station, and came across a group of armed LAEF militants. The militants numbering 10-12 and led by their militant 'chief' Augustine Marak exchanged fire with the Police teams leading to a 45 minute encounter. In the gun battle Augustine was killed and another cadre identified as Walsrang N Areng hailing from Chichra Apal village was arrested while the rest of the militants fled from the scene. A search of the encounter site led to the recovery of an AK-47 rifle along with 72 live rounds and three mobile phones and SIM cards.

April 17

Dainadubi Police outpost / North Garo Hills District

Six cadres of LAEF surrendered before the Police at Dainadubi Police outpost in North Garo Hills District. LAEF 'commander-in-chief' Mathew G Momin, from Kamalpara-Bakrapur village of Dudhnoi, led his faction to the surrender ceremony handing over an AK 47 rifle, a shotgun and two pistols along with several rounds of ammunition. Along with Mathew was his 'deputy military chief' Ravan Basumatary (28) of Chitukhona village in Damas and four other senior cadres of the outfit - Tenik Sangma (30) of Naringgre Rongjeng, Negrus Sangma (25) of Khardang Dorengtop (Krishnai), Lepjin Shira (25) of Chitukhona and Heswar Areng (31) of Songsak. The surrender was made possible through the intervention of church leaders, families and villagers, particularly UCPF elder Panpan Marak, Damas MDC and GHADC executive member Dolly K Sangma and village elders.

April 21 Garo Hills District

A top cadre of the LAEF, Rakpel Chisim Elite, said the outfit is regrouping with the help of international and regional militant outfits in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya. Rakpel said in an email: "The surrender of Mathew Marak is not the end of the chapter in LAEF history." He claimed to be the self-styled 'deputy commander-in-chief' of the outfit. On April 17, the outfit's 'commander-in-chief' Mathew G. Momin, 'deputy commander-in-chief' Ravan Sangma and four other cadres had surrendered at Dainadubi in North Garo Hills. "We are not demoralised. Nor does it break our spirit. It is better off without the corrupt and self-centered leaders like Mathew, who misused the funds of the organisation for his personal benefit and mistreated the army," alleged Rakpel in the mail. "We have all the support we need both from international as well as domestic rebel organisations to regroup and rise again. We will display our strength and capabilities in time," the release said.

April 25

North Garo Hills District

Five LAEF militants surrendered before SP in-charge North Garo Hills District MGR Kumar at Resubelpara. The militants were identified as Jim G Momin alias Walku, Sengnang G Momin alias Nikrak, Salseng Momin alias Wanted, Sengtingberth K Sangma alias Sanggra, Sengsil G Momin alias Dakchak. The militants did not deposit any arms or ammunition during the surrender.

May 10

Garo Hills Districts

Meghalaya Police are banking on church leaders and members of the civil society to prevail on the leaders of the GNLA about the futility of their arm struggle, even as they vowed to be relentless in hunting down the spreading groups of the outfits in three Districts of Garo Hills. Buoyed by the spate of surrenders by GNLA and LAEF cadres following the 'Operation Hill Storm-3', the Police categorically maintained that the rest of the fleeing groups under the command of Sohan D Shira, Hedeo, Baichung and Rupanto will come to terms with reality. "We have the support of the civil society in our effort and any hardening of stand by these elements will have to be reciprocal in nature," stated a well placed source involved in the operations. Already, multiple central armed forces have reached Garo Hills to aid the State Police in nailing the four groups numbering around 40. The groups who once camped in the Durama Forest have shifted base to South Garo Hills. They have divided into groups with no virtual network, informed a source. IGP G H P Raju admitted about the other plan of operations, should the renegades fail to succumb to the carrot and stick policy adopted by the Police. Thanking the Church and civil society group for convincing a couple of leaders belonging to the GNLA for being instrumental of igniting the idea of arm revolution, Raju was equivocal in his statement that an extra yard will be taken to neutralise these militant groups.

June 11

Deuripara / Goalpara / Goalpara District

Based on specific inputs from military intelligence, the Indian Army and Assam Police launched an operation and arrested a militant of LAEF, identified as Suparo Swargyari from the area of Deuripara near Goalpara in Goalpara District. One 7.65 mm pistol was recovered from the militant along with some ammunition. According to the militant, he joined the LAEF in 2014 and has been active in carrying out subversive activities since then.

July 11 North Garo Hills District

North Garo Hills Police in a joint operation with Army arrested the 'area commander' of LAEF Rohit Marak from Rajabala area in the North Garo Hills District. District Police chief Raghavendra Kumar said that Marak is also wanted by Assam Police due to his involvement in several cases in the neighbouring state. Police recovered some demand notes and seals from his possession. Marak is the prime accused in the abduction of an auto driver from Krishnai in the Assam-Meghalaya border. He was also arrested 2013 following an encounter but managed to escape from Goalpara civil Hospital in the same year.







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