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GNLA leader shot dead

Shillong, Sept. 14: A self-styled lance corporal of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was killed in an encounter with security forces in East Garo Hills district today, but the outfit’s “commander-in-chief” managed to give the slip yet again.

Security forces comprising personnel from the East Garo Hills police, Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team and Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) — stormed a suspected hideout of the GNLA commander-in-chief Sohan D. Shira.

The hideout was located in a jungle between Jaljenggre and Pilgonggre village about 13km from Williamnagar, the district headquarters of East Garo Hills. “The encounter lasted for about two hours and during it, one lance corporal of GNLA, Mikjim T. Sangma alias Tusol, of Oragitok village in West Garo Hills was killed,” East Garo Hills superintendent of police J.F.K. Marak said.

The police recovered one Heckler & Koch rifle with one magazine, two AK magazines, two pistols, two grenades, six wireless sets and other incriminating documents from the camp, Marak said.

The police official said Shira was reportedly in the camp during the encounter, but somehow managed to escape. Massive combing operations had been launched to nab the fleeing militants, he said. The incident comes after a brief lull in activities by the GNLA whose “chairman”, Champion R. Sangma, is currently in judicial custody after his arrest on July 30 this year.