Adivasi rebel group chairman held

Asked if the NSLA has been able to establish links with Maoists, police said, "As of now, there was no such evidence"

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, February 25: The self-styled chairman of the Adivasi rebel outfit tiol Santhal Liberation Army has been caught in Jharkhand following a tip-off by Assam police.

Kokrajhar additiol superintendent of police Surjeet Singh Paneswar said NSLA chairman Epil Murmuhas been arrested yesterday at Boreo under Sahibganj police station of Jharkhand.

"He is wanted in many cases in Assam. Our team will go to take him," the ASP said.

Asked if the NSLA has been able to establish links with Maoists, police said, "As of now, there was no such evidence." However, the possibility is being not ruled out.

Meanwhile, last night, during a joint operation in Silbhaji area of Gossaigaon police station, two NSLA cadres - Anthony Hembrem and Jagat Hembrem alias Badal were arrested and one 9mm pistol with four rounds ammunition recovered from them.

Defence spokesman Lt Con Suneet Newton said army troops of Red Horn Division and Assam Police apprehended the NSLA and one NDFB(S) terrorist and recovered three pistols along with ammunition in two separate operations based on intelligence provided by Gajraj Intelligence.

Based on information obtained from the NSLA militants, another 9mm pistol and ammunition were recovered from Udalguri town.  Anthony Hembrom is considered as the right hand man of NSLA commander Lakhiram.

In another operation, based on inputs provided by Gajraj Intelligence, NDFB(S) cadre Habel Basumatary (21) was apprehended from Kachugaon. One 7.65mm pistol and some ammunition were recovered.  Habel Basumatary was responsible for extortion from timber smugglers and local public and was supplying weapons to NDFB(S) over the past two years.  He was in constant touch with senior leadership of NDFB(S).

He was also wanted by the police in connection with the December 23 massacre of Adivasis and burning of houses at Bharatpur and had been absconding since then.

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