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GNLA plants landmine

Shillong, Nov. 9: The Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) appears to be in a retaliatory mood as the militant organisation opened fire and planted a powerful landmine at the house where the mother of Jerry F.K. Marak, superintendent of East Garo Hills, resided.

Around 1.30am this morning, GNLA militants went to the house at Nokalawe in Williamnagar where Marak’s mother lived and resorted to indiscriminate firing.

“On reaching the house, they went straight to the compound of his sister’s house and fired several rounds. Nobody was injured but a portion of the house, which was damaged by bullets,” a police official said.

Immediately, after the incident, the police launched an operation, which is continuing till now, where additional police personnel have been reinforced. Today around 3pm, GNLA commander-in-chief Sohan D. Shira reportedly sent a text message to Marak informing him that GNLA cadres had buried a “powerful landmine” in front of the gate of his mother’s house last night. “On receiving the information, the police went to the place and found that a powerful landmine was buried,” the official said.

Following the recovery of the explosive, the official said people were evacuated to a safer place and the army was expected to arrive from neighbouring Goalpara in Assam to defuse the explosive device.

A team of Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) personnel at Williamnagar has proceeded to the place, the official added. He also said Shira planted the explosive device in retaliation to the raid conducted by the police on November 5. “Sohan had threatened Marak for carrying out the raid and said he would attack his family,” the official said, adding that following the threat the GNLA planted the explosive device.

On November 5, an amount of Rs 22,83,500 was recovered from Shira’s house along with other items. Acting on a tip-off, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos, along with 5th Meghalaya Police Battalion personnel, raided Shira’s residence in East Garo Hills. During the search, a stash of incriminating evidence was recovered from the ceiling of the house. The items recovered include Rs 22,83,500, 25 electric detonators, eight wireless sets along with chargers, two Sony handycams, three solar plates, four solar LED home lights, 13 solar lamps, three mobile phones (two Micromax and one BlackBerry), 16 SIM cards and two pencil battery chargers.