Shillong: The body of an Intelligence Bureau officer and a cloth merchant, kidnapped by tribal Garo militants exactly one month back, were recovered from a village in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district on Saturday, police said.
"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," Meghalaya police chief Rajiv Mehta told 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.
"We have exhumed the two dead bodies and they have been taken to Baghmara (the district headquarters of South Garo Hills) for autopsy," Mehta said.
ASAK militants 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.
Meghalaya Police and intelligence agencies maintained that the ASAK militants were behind the abduction.
"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.