The body of Meghalaya’s most wanted militant and Commander-in-Chief of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) Sohan D Shira, who was killed by elite Special Force (SF) – 10 Commandos of Meghalaya police in on Saturday afternoon, reached his residence on Sunday at Nengmandal village near Williamnagar town under East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.
After arrival of the body of the GNLA C-in-C at his residence in Nengmandal village, a number of his relatives, villagers along with others gathered to see the mortal remains of the militant leader.
Prayer service was also held for the slain GNLA chief at his residence.
When he was killed by Sohan was taking shelter in a makeshift hideout on a hilltop at Dobu Bawanggre, close to Garegittim area that connects East and South Garo Hills with West Khasi Hills district.
He was the first casualty in the operation as he came in direct confrontation with the commandos who were just yards away from where he was positioned.
According to police commandos, who took part in the operation, the militant leader was caught unaware of the commandos having come so close to his hideout and on seeing them tried to react by immediately opening fire from his Heckler and Koch automatic rifle but it was too late.
The commandos retaliatory fire was precise. It blew off a portion of the militant’s head killing him on the spot. He also sustained multiple hits on his upper torso falling where he had stood and bringing to an end the years of tyranny and bloodletting perpetrated by him and group which has led to countless loss of lives in the Garo Hills.
After the killing of Sohan on Saturday, SB Singh, DGP, Meghalaya, said, “Last night (Friday) we had received information about the probable location of Sohan Shira and ULFA commander Dristi Rajkhowa and their group in Dobu Anchengbok and Bilwatgre village. Accordingly, we launched an operation at 4 AM and finally caught up with him in an encounter at around 11:30 AM.”
Clearly, the task was daunting for the police teams who had to climb several hills and wade through streams deep in the interior before finally locating the camp site.
The police had been on the hunt of the GNLA leader after the killing of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate from Williamnagar constituency Jonathone N Sangma, who died along with three others in an IED blast on Saturday last at Samanda.
“After the IED blast at Samanda, we expected the GNLA chief would try and flee towards the Khasi Hills border. So, we threw a huge security dragnet all along the East and South Garo Hills border with West Khasi Hills and finally managed to intercept them. It has been a commendable work done by the entire police force in Garo Hills and West Khasi Hills,” the Meghalaya Police chief said.
Based on specific inputs of Sohan and his team taking shelter, SF-10 commandos launched the counter-insurgency operation under the operational command of commandant of SF-10 Jerry Fischer K Marak at around 4 am on Saturday.
The police had to cross several streams and walk terrains to reach the interior village of Babawanggre on a hilltop, where Sohan and 12 other cadres where taking shelter in a makeshift hideout.
Meghalaya DGP Singh informed that Sohan and his team were able to give police a slip in the past as they used the inter-district border to escape after committing the crimes.