Shillong: The year 2018 saw the elimination of one of the wanted militants of Meghalaya, Sohan D Shira. Shira who headed the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was shot dead on February 24 by Meghalaya police commandos in an encounter at Achakpek near Dobu in East Garo Hills district.
The GNLA is suspected to have carried out a bomb attack on February 18 in which NCP candidate for the Williama Nagar Assembly constituency Jonathone N Sangma and four others were killed in the Samanda area of East Garo Hills district.
Shira was a former area commander of the Achik National Volunteers Council (ANVC), which later signed a peace pact with both the state and central governments. In 2007 he surrendered before the then chief minister DD Lapang.
But two years later he went back to the jungle alleging that he had been given a raw deal. He formed the Garo National Liberation Army along with deserter deputy superintendent of police and chairman of the outfit Pachkara R. Sangma a.k.a. Champion R. Sangma.
Shira who was facing numerous charges of murder, extortion and kidnapping among other heinous crimes had escaped security dragnets many times in the past. He hailed from Nengmandalgre village, near Williamnagar town of East Garo Hills.
With his elimination, the GNLA has also become almost defunct with no reports of its criminal activities during the year. The year also saw the surrender of the general secretary of the proscribed Khasi outfit, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC). He surrendered on October 18 before deputy chief minister, Prestone Tynsong. Thangkhiew said termed his surrender as resignation from the outfit.
Thangkhiew along with HNLC “Commander-in-Chief” Bobby Marwein, Dilash Marak and Jerome Cherian Momin of the (now disbanded) A’chik Liberation Matgrik Army and two National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah militants escaped from the Shillong Jail in 1995.
Also read: Meghalaya news