Five migrant labourers were shot dead and few others were injured when suspected tribal militants indiscriminately fired upon them in a mining village in Meghalaya's South Garo Hills district, police said today.
Suspected militants from the United Achik Liberation Army (UALA), a breakaway faction of the Achik National Volunteer Council-B faction, led by Norrok Momin went to the mining camp at Darangdura village last evening and fired at the labourers, the police said.
The gunmen came to the quarry and pushed the labourers to one corner before opening fire on them from their automatic rifles resulting in the death of five workers and injury to others, the police added.
Cops suspected that the shooting was a result of non-payment of extortion by the mine owner.
The village is situated in an extremely remote area of the state and is full of coal mines. Those killed belong to the Goalpara district of Assam. Post-mortem is being conducted after which the bodies of the labourers will be handed over to their relatives.
The police have intensified vigil in and around the camp area and launched a manhunt to nab those involved in the criminal act, district police chief Davis Nestell R Marak said.
Several militant outfits have mushroomed in five districts of Garo Hills affecting the law and order situation.