GNLA militant killed in encounter in Meghalaya

A Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) militant, wanted for kidnapping a block development officer last year, was on Saturday killed in an encounter with the security forces in Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, police said. Acting on intelligence inputs, Swift Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos of the state police raided a makeshift camp of GNLA. As the commandos approached the camp they were fired upon, police said.

In retaliatory fire, one of the militants who was in the camp was shot dead and another got shot in his arms. The deceased has been identified as Kandem, known to be an expert in assembling IEDs, IG (Operations) G H P Raju said. A shot gun was recovered from the site of the encounter and an operation is on to find his aide, identified as Chondro, and sanitise the area, he said. Kandem is suspected to have engineered the IED attack at a busy market in Williamnagar last week, the officer said.

He was also responsible for the kidnapping of Jude Rangku T Sangma, a BDO in South Garo Hills’ Chokpot last October and the most wanted armed cadre of the outfit, Raju said. The GNLA, formed in 2010, has been active in all five Garo Hills districts and named in various cases of kidnapping, extortion and killing of both civilians and security forces.