"Josbina Sangma was shot dead by the (outlawed) Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) rebels after she resisted the rebels' attempt to molest and rape her late on Tuesday," Lakardor Syiem, the district police chief of South Garo Hills, said.

The murder took place inside Sangma's house compound at Raja Rongat village when two of the five GNLA rebels' armed with AK rifles fired at the woman's head in front of her children.

"It is one of the most gruesome and inhuman cold blooded murder... they used AK rifle and fired five to six shots at her head in front of the children while her husband was prevented from coming out of the house," Syiem said.

"One of the rebels who attempted to molest and rape her was identified as Tengton," the police official said.

Raja Rongat village bordering the India-Bangladesh border is about 360 km from Shillong, the state capital of Meghalaya. Meghalaya Home Minister Roshan Warjri condemned the killing, saying such a brutal act is not tolerated in a civilized society.

"This gruesome incident should be condemned by all right thinking citizens in strongest term. Such elements have no place in a civilized society and the police are already on their job to nab the killers," Warjri said.

Meanwhile, the home minister has directed Additional Director General of Police in-charge Law and Order YC Modi and Inspector General of Police in-charge Western Range H Nongpluh to rush in to the village to assess the situation.

The GNLA, one of the five Garo tribal rebel groups, is fighting for a separate Garoland to be carved out of Meghalaya. GNLA rebels, who number around 100, unleashed terror in five impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last five years and killed over 100 people, including security personnel.

(Agencies)

Latest News from State News Desk