Shillong, July 18 (IANS) Security forces Thursday arrested a gunrunner with a cache of arms meant to be delivered to the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), a police official said.
The illegal arms and ammunition were smuggled out from Nagaland's Dimapur district via Assam, the official said.
"Acting on a tip-off, we intercepted a vehicle loaded with weapons and seized three rifles ofthe AK series, four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers and rifle ammunition of different calibre from a vehicle at Chinabat area," East Garo Hills district police chief J.F.K. Marak told IANS.
Chinabat area in Meghalaya's East Garo Hills district is about 300 km west of Shillong, the state capital.
The arrested gunrunner has been identified as Beet Sangma of Dimapur, the main commercial town in Nagaland, bordering Assam's Golaghat district, Marak said.
Marak, however, said that two other gunrunners whom Sangma identified as Taklu and Kari Ao, escaped from the spot on seeing the security forces.
Security forces have launched a manhunt to nab the two absconding gunrunners.
In recent months, Assam Police have seized a huge consignment of arms and ammunition, including rocket launchers, shells and foreign-made pistols, which were brought from Dimapur via Assam to Garo Hills, meant to be delivered to the outlawed GNLA rebel outfit.
The GNLA, one of five Garo rebel groups fighting for a separate "Garoland" in western Meghalaya, is headed by police officer-turned-rogue Champion R. Sangma.
Sangma is presently lodged in Shillong jail after he was arrested from the India-Bangladesh border last year.