The slain Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) Sohan D Shira was laid to rest at Chasatgre village on the other side of Simsang river in Williamnagar town of East Garo Hills on Sunday.
The body of GNLA C-in-C Shira, aged 41 years, was handed over to his family members after post-mortem conducted at Williamnagar at around 1:30 pm on Sunday. People waited outside the morgue for several hours to get a glimpse of the slain militant.
His body was taken to his wife’s residence and after a brief prayer service, in accordance with the wish of his mother the final rituals were conducted at her residence and buried beside his father Golendro T Sangma.
The medical team had to put together Shira’s disfigured face, which took several hours. His 17-year-old daughter was distraught and could not control her emotions as she cried out loud – “This is not my father”.
Shira’s wife remained unconscious as the final rites were being conducted.
Shira’s mother, aged 80 years, sat beside the coffin for several minutes crying, while making a point heard – “Son, I never wanted you to be in the jungle. Why did you go?”
The entire village of Chasatgre converged for Shira’s funeral, which lasted for about two hours.
“Sohan had the desire to return provided the government was willing to come forward with a peace pack,” said Aruna D Shira, elder sister of Shira.
She also told that recently two Central government officials had requested her to convince Shira to join the mainstream. “I tried all possible ways to convince him (Shira) but he was not willing to accept as he had his own arguments as he did not trust the government based on his previous experiences,” she added.
In 2014, Shira, a former rebel with the now-disbanded A’chik National Volunteer’s Council (ANVC), joined the mainstream but had to face several difficulties because of alleged harassment by the security personnel.
“He (Shira) was not happy with the government and the security forces, who continued to obstruct his activities and business ventures. Disturbed with the situation, he (Shira) fled to the jungle to continue his rebellious movement,” Aruna further said.
Shira was shot dead by elite Special Force-10 commandos of the Meghalaya Police at Bawangre village, near Dobu in East Garo Hills on Saturday. Shira was Meghalaya’s most wanted militant and police had announced Rs 10 lakh on his head.
For the past two decades, Shira has been the most dreaded rebel in Meghalaya and had remained elusive. He had last visited his family in January.