Shillong, Oct 19: Rebels of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army Friday abducted two prominent ginger dealers from a market place in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills district, police said.
Inadul Islam and Mosa Bapari were kidnapped by six armed GNLA rebels at gunpoint from Damal Asim market, district police chief Mukesh Kumar Singh told IANS.
Initially, the rebels kidnapped altogether four businessmen from the market, but later freed two others unharmed, he added.
The kidnappers have reportedly made ransom demands too.
The family members of the duo, however, were tight-lipped about the affair.
However, intelligence agencies and the state police believe that Islam and Bopari were abducted for ransom by the tribal Garo outfit.
Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and Meghalaya’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos have been pressed into service to trace the abductors.
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.