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Three tribal militants gunned down in Assam

Last updated on: June 20, 2012 17:18 IST

Three militants belonging to the Karbi People's Liberation Tiger were killed in a joint team by the police and paramilitary forces in an encounter at Dolamara Torapung area of Karbi Anglong district  in Assam on Wednesday. 

Police claimed to have recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunitions including three AK 47 rifles from the slain militants. Acting on a tip-off about the presence of ultras in the area, forces launched a search operation. On spotting the police the ultras opened fire. The police retaliated and gunned down the militants and recovered the arms.

The KPLT has been creating trouble in the hill district by indulging in widespread extortion and abduction. The outfit has set up base in inaccessible areas of Singhason hill areas in the hill district. 

The outfit recently abducted 20 labourers engaged by a private company at the site of a mini hydro-electric project in the hill district and 19 of them have remained untraceable since then. However, one of the abducted workers managed to escape from the clutches of the rebels.

The labourers were abducted at gunpoint on June 10 from the construction company's camp site at Lungnit, a remote location in the insurgent-infested Singhasan hill range.

The labourers were working at the 6-MW Lungnit hydel project, remotely located about 36 kms from Diphu, the district headquarters. The mini-hydel project belongs to the Assam Power Generation Company Ltd, a subsidiary of Assam State Electricity Board. 

Though the Assam Police and CRPF personnel launched a prompt joint operation to locate and rescue the labourers, it has so far proved unsuccessful.

The daily-wage labourers are from various communities including tea tribe, Nepali, Bihari, Bodo, Rabha and other ethnic groups. They were hired by P Das & Company, a Guwahati-based construction company. 

It was only on May 5 that Bling Hanse, a self-styled commander-in-chief of the KPLT, was killed by some of his colleagues in an internal feud. Hanse had taken charge as commander-in-chief of the outfit after his predecessor Ampang Ingti was shot dead by security forces in July last year.

K Anurag in Guwahati