Shillong, Feb 26 (IANS): Security forces on Friday busted the hideout of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) commander-in-chief Sohan D' Shira but he managed to escape along with his accomplices.
Security forces seized 16 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Pathalgre village near the hideout.
A joint team of Meghalaya's Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos, assisted by the Border Security Force and Central Reserve Police Force, launched a combing operation on Wednesday night to flush out militants from the Durama range.
"Our security forces overran Shira's hideout located between Pathalgre area and Adugre area in the East Garo Hills but he managed to escape during an exchange of fire," Inspector General of Police (Operations) G.H.P. Raju told IANS.
"SWAT commandos are continuing with the combing operation to track down the escaped rebels," he said.
Raju said security forces seized 16 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Pathalgre village, leading to the GNLA hideout.
On Thursday, police said they had seized a huge cache of explosives, including 47 IEDs, thereby averting a major incident in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district.
The IEDs were planted by rebels of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) and the United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) in Doengkhugre area and in a village in Durama hill range, police said.
The GNLA, fighting for a separate Garoland in western Meghalaya, has also forged an alliance with Bangladesh-based rebel group A'chik Special Dragon.
It also has links with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah, United Liberation Front of Assam and National Democratic Front of Bodoland.