A month after an Intelligence Bureau officer was kidnapped by tribal Garo militants in Meghalaya with a cloth merchant, their bodies were recovered from a village in South Garo Hills district on Saturday.
Meghalaya Police chief Rajiv Mehta said that they had recovered the bodies.
“We have recovered the body of Intelligence Bureau officer Bikash Singh and cloth merchant Kamal Saha, who were kidnapped and killed by A’chik Songna An’pachakgipa Kotok (ASAK) militants, from a forest area in South Garo Hills district,” Mehta was quoted by IANS.
He said a police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police Chauenlai Sangma recovered the bodies from a pit about two kilometre from Bolchugre village, bordering Bangladesh, and about 450 km from Shillong here.
Police is convinced that this is the handiwork of militants.
“We have exhumed the two dead bodies and they have been taken to Baghmara (the district headquarters of South Garo Hills) for autopsy,” Mehta added.
ASAK militants had kidnapped the two on September 24 at gunpoint from an area between Ampangre and Panda reserve forest. Singh and Saha were travelling in a public vehicle towards Baghmara from Rongara when ASAK militants stopped the vehicle, separated them from other passengers and took them away.
The ASAK, whose name means “vanguard of Garoland” and are fighting for a separate Garoland, had denied involvement in the kidnapping, but an obscure militant outfit – the Bangladesh Tiger Force claimed to have killed the two men.
In an e-mail to the media, its ‘commander-in-chief’ Dallim Islam said that the officer and the cloth merchant were “executed in revenge for atrocities against Bangla nationals” in the border region.
“We have identified the ASAK militants who are the prime accused in kidnapping and killing the IB official and the cloth merchant. It is just a matter of time that they (ASAK militants) will be arrested,” said a senior police official said.