Shillong, Sep 25 (IANS) The whereabouts of an Intelligence Bureau officer and another person abducted by suspected Garo militants in Meghalaya on Thursday remain unknown, a top police officer said on Friday.
A Meghalaya Police officer denied media reports that the official Bikash Singh, holding a rank of an inspector, was killed by of the A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) outfit.
Bikash Singh, posted at Rongara, and cloth merchant Kamal Saha were abducted at gunpoint by two ASAK militants between Ampangre and Panda reserve forest.
The victims were travelling in a public vehicle towards Baghmara, the district headquarters of South Garo Hills, from Rongara.
The militants segregated the passengers of the vehicle before kidnapping the government official and the cloth merchant.
“There is no information with Meghalaya Police that the abducted intelligence officer has been killed by his abductors,” Inspector General of Police in-charge Operations, G.H.P. Raju told IANS.
However, he said the rescue operation has been intensified in South Garo Hills district and its adjoining districts to trace the intelligence officer.
“Hundreds of policemen besides central paramilitary forces have been fanned out to rescue the two hostages,” Raju said, adding that Inspector General of Police in-charge Western Range F.D. Sangma was camping at Baghmara overseeing the operation.
He also said police have not received any information if the ASAK has made any ransom call to the family members of the two hostages.
The ASAK, which means “vanguards of Garoland” and which operates in western Meghalaya, is fighting for a separate Garoland to be carved out of the state.