GNLA chief escapes from hideout

Shillong: The Chief of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) had a narrow escape when his hideout was busted by police teams in a Meghalaya village, police said on Friday.

Acting on a tip off about the presence of the GNLA 'C-in-C' Sohan D Shira, police teams raided Bawegre village last evening, the police said.

"Police teams raided a suspected hideout of Sohan D Shira at Bawegre village, about 4km away from Williamnagar town of East Garo Hills district," Deputy Commissioner East Garo Hill district Pravin Bakshi told PTI.

He said the militant and his aide had a narrow escape when they saw the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) commandos approaching.

Police said the GNLA cadre opened fire first and managed to escape from the camp.

According to police, they had to desist from opening fire because there were children in the area.

Meanwhile, all three Garo Hills districts were put on alert and the SWAT commandos and the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of the CrPF have been pressed into service to track the rebels who abducted Assistant Executive Engineer A Pohthmi and Junior Engineer Boney Majaw of the Meghalaya Electricity Corporation Limited (MeECL).

Heavily armed GNLA cadre abducted the two power engineers at midnight on January 24 from their official quarters in West Garo Hills district.

The GNLA which is fighting for a separate Garoland for the Garos has been involved in abduction, killing and extorting in the three Garo districts of Western Meghalaya.