Meghalaya’s most-wanted militant and self-styled chief of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Sohan D Shira, was reportedly shot dead in an encounter in the East Garo Hills district on Saturday. Shira was carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.
According to reports, the incident took place around 11am in Achakpek village near Dobu. Acting on a tip-off about the presence of a few GNLA cadres, the commandos raided the area and shot dead Sohan Dalbot Shira, who was the military wing chief the banned outfit.
“It is confirmed that he has been killed in a gunfight with the SF-10 commandos at 11.50am and we are waiting for further details of the entire operation,” Meghalaya Police chief Swaraj Bir Singh said. East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Kumar said inquest on the body of the slain militant was on and necessary formalities would follow.
However, the GNLA is yet to issue any statement confirming the death of Shira.
Congratulating the security forces on the major achievement, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma tweeted, “I wholeheartedly congratulate the fearless women and men of the Meghalaya Police organization that has led an untiring effort and commitment to eliminate enemies of the State like Sohan D. Shira.”
Counter-insurgency operations by security forces were held following inputs of the presence of a few armed GNLA cadres in the area. Security in the poll-bound south and east Garo Hills districts was stepped up after NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma and three others were killed in an IED blast by suspected GNLA members on February 18.