Six ULFA cadres arrested, cash and weapons seized in Meghalaya

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Shillong, Feb 06 (UNI) Security forces today arrested six United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) militants in Garo Hills, Meghalaya and recovered arms and ammunition and explosives from their possession, a senior police official said.

The militants, include Aftab Ali, a ''seargent major'' of the ULFA's 709 battalion' in Garo Hills. They were arrested from Depa bordering Assam and Meghalaya, while they were traveling towards Assam from Garo Hills. The five others have identified themselves as Ranjit Ali, Chinchang, Shahadul Jamal, Mohit Rabha, and Asadulah Haq of ULFA's 109 battalion'.

A joint team consisting of personnel from the State police and the army carried out the operation.

The police seized two Indian-made hand grenades, two Single Barrel Breech Loading (SBBL) gun, two relovers, crude bombs, eight rounds of 9mm live ammunition and six mobile handsets, besides a cash of Rs 2.31 lakh from the militant's possession, East Garo Hills District Superintendent of Police S.Nongtynger told UNI here.

''They have been hiding in Garo Hills for quite sometime and finally we got them,'' the SP said, while refusing to divulge further details.

Moreover, the SP said that the army took them into custody for interrogation.

Last month, security forces gunned down Madan Koch, operational head of the ULFA's 109 battalion' in Kathalbari village bordering Assam and Meghalaya in an encounter.

Koch was operating in the plain belts of Garo Hills in Phulbari, Garobadha, Mendipathar and other adjoining areas in West Garo Hills district owing to its proximity with Assam and neighbouring Bangladesh. ULFA uses this strategic corridor to sneak in and out of India.

Police said Koch was supervising the transaction of arms, ammunition and explosives for the ULFA through this corridor for several years now.

ULFA's 109h battalion's have set up its operational base at Phulbari, Garobadha, Mendipathar and other adjoining areas in the West Garo Hills district. The main camps of the battalion are located at Bangladesh's Rangpur, Sherpur and Mymensingh districts.

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