In a joint operation of the Indian Army and Chokihola police, a cadre of the lesser-known Rengma Naga outfit, Rengma Naga Hills Protection Force, was gunned down in the village of Zongfa, in northwestern Karbi Anglong, about 5:40 AM today. The security force involved in the counterinsurgency (CI) operation identified the cadre as 22-year-old Takan Rengma.
According to information, the CI force raided a hideout, believing it was a Karbi ultra-organization’s hideaway, but later realized they had come upon an unknown outfit. “The dead cadre does not belong to any Karbi outfit. That much I am sure; I shall be in a position to reveal the facts once the identification process is done,” the BB Chetri Superintendent of Police, Karbi Anglong, told me over the phone.
After a brief and fierce gunfight that lasted about 30 minutes, weapons and ammunition were recovered by the CI force. The weapons and ammunition consisted of one 9mm pistol, one AK 47, two hand grenades, and a huge quantity of assorted live ammunition that included 112 rounds for 303 bolt action rifles, 61 rounds for self-loading rifles, 59 rounds for AK 56 rifles, and 14 rounds for the 9mm pistol. A solar-operated set for charging communication devices was also recovered.
The police have not given any clear account regarding the persistence of the Rengma Naga Hills Protection Force. “Whatever preliminary appraisal regarding the outfit has been made from the documents found from the possession of the alleged ultra suggests that this outfit was constituted to protect Rangma Naga-dominated localities from social and economic threat,” said a police officer, speaking upon condition of anonymity.