Meghalaya’s most-wanted terrorist and GNLA (Garo National Liberation Army) Commander-in-Chief Sohan D Shira was gunned down in a fierce encounter with the security forces. The incident reportedly took place around 11:50 AM at Dobu A’chakpek in East Garo Hills. Sohan was killed in the encounter with a joint team of the Garo Hills Police and Meghalaya’s Special Force-10 commandos. It is reported that Shira was active in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills that goes on polls on February 27. Shira has been involved in many encounters before but he has managed to escape, unlike this time.
Shira dubbed as the most-wanted terrorist in the poll-bound state has been gunned down, less than a week after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Jonathone N Sangma was killed after militants attacked his convoy in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district. Sangma’s security officer and two party workers were also killed in the IED attack. Their convoy was returning from a campaign when the attack happened. Police had intensified anti-terrorism operations in the Garo Hills after the killing of Sangma. The attack that was carried out around 100 kilometres from the Bangladesh border was seen as the attempt by the terrorist group to discourage people from voting in the upcoming assembly polls. Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had assured a swift probe into the matter and now this is followed by an encounter of the GNLA Chief in the state.
GNLA’s Commander-in-Chief, Sohan D Shira had earlier stated that they are not against India, but want a separate state called ‘Garoland’. They had also said that they will give up the arms struggle within three days of the formation of the state. Shira was reported to have returned from Bangladesh in December last year in light of a crackdown by security forces.
Garo National Liberation Army was set up in 2009 by a senior police officer Pakchara R. Sangma. He had deserted the state police to launch the outfit to fight for a ‘sovereign Garoland’ in western areas of Meghalaya. The GNLA has since then been involved in activities like killings, abduction, extortion, bomb blasts and attacks on security forces.