Meghalaya's most-wanted militant Sohan D Shira killed in encounter with security forces

Security forces on Saturday shot dead Meghalaya's most-wanted militant and self-styled chief of the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) Sohan D Shira in an encounter in East Garo Hills district, the police said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to NDTV, Sohan was active in the Garo hills of Meghalaya, which goes to polls on 27 February.

The encounter of Sohan, who carried a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, came after NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma was killed in an IED attack, suspected to be carried out by the GNLA in the same district on 18 February.

Following Sangma's death, counter-insurgency operations had been stepped up in poll-bound South and East Garo Hills districts.

Acting on inputs regarding probable movement of some armed GNLA cadre in Dobu area, counter-insurgency forces were pressed into service, a senior police officer involved in the operations told PTI.

He said the encounter took place around 11 am in Achakpek village near Dobu, in which Sohan was killed.

East Garo Hills Deputy Commissioner Ram Kumar said inquest on the body of the slain militant was on and necessary formalities would follow.

Earlier this week, Meghalaya Director General of Police SB Singh had said, "There are credible leads that are being obtained about the involvement of the group (GNLA) in Sunday night's carnage (Sangma's killing)."

NCP candidate Jonathone N Sangma and three others were killed in an IED blast triggered by militants in the Samanda area of East Garo Hills district around 8 pm on 18 February.

GNLA was set up in 2010 by a senior police officer Pakchara R Sangma, who deserted the state police to launch the outfit, originally to fight for carving out a 'sovereign Garoland' in western areas of Meghalaya, the NDTV report added. Slowly, as India Today said in a report, it turned into a terror outfit with many instances of killings, abduction, extortion, bomb blasts and attacks on security forces.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 24, 2018 16:49:46 IST

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