SHILLONG, June 24: The number of deaths related to militant activities in Meghalaya has almost tripled in the last 5 years with the fatalities rising from 22 in 2010 to 61 last year, an official report has revealed.
During the period between January 2010 and June 23, 2014, 199 persons were killed due to militancy related incidents. Out of these, 93 were civilians, 89 were militants and 17 were policemen, the report made available to the press on Tuesday revealed.
Interestingly, in the year 2010, the number of civilian casualties was only 4 as compared to the 34 deaths until December 2013. During the same period, 89 militants were killed with 469 arrests and 91 surrenders, stated the report.
Of these, the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), active in the Garo Hills region, has caused the most deaths, killing 87 persons including 17 policemen. The outfit also suffered the worst from counter insurgency operations losing 44 soldiers in gun battles and 217 to arrest.
Another banned outfit, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) which is staging a comeback in the Khasi Hills region, had suffered a blow with the police netting as many as 55 members and eight sympathizers during the period.
Since 2010, 15 ULFA and 16 NDFB militants have also been arrested within the state while other militant groups such as the LAEF, ASAK, UALA and other accounted for the rest of the incidents.
This year alone (till June 23), 13 civilians have been killed and 3 policemen have been injured so far.
With regard to abductions, 28 cases have been recorded this year (till June 23) as compared to only 3 in the year 2010. A total of 111 persons were reported abducted so far, the police report said. The 28 abductions this year is the highest when compared to the records of the past four and a half years.
According to the report, police have also recovered 233 arms and 5735 rounds of ammunition besides 128 hand grenades and 181 gelatin sticks.