From Our Correspondent

Tura, Feb 24, 2018

While the entire state now heaves a sigh of relief after the encounter killing of the commander in chief of the Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA), Sohan D Shira, questions are now being raised on the incident as well as the crime scene which according to some may have been tampered with.

“The scene of the encounter seems to have been tampered with as in one photo of Sohan’s gun, two plastics bags are visible and in another, the same has been removed,” said Agnes Kharshiing, president of CSWO.

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Many have also questioned the timing of the encounter, which comes just two days prior to the state going to elections.

“It can’t just be a coincidence that this man had been on the run and survived hundreds of encounters and now suddenly he has been killed just about a week after the alleged killing of NCP candidate, Jonathone N Sangma. The GNLA has also not owned responsibility to the killing of Jonathone,” she added.

The GNLA had threatened Congress workers in Songsak through a social media post of attacking them if they canvassed for the CM, Dr Mukul Sangma, who is also fighting from the constituency. In a social media post of Gongbin Marak (who according to police was the outfit’s chief, Sohan) had threatened a 356 day shutdown if the people of Songsak voted for the CM.

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The murder of Jonathone and his aides had raised the stakes and lent credibility to the threat posed by GNLA to Congress workers. With today’s encounter, the entire threat perception has been lowered with all the constituencies of EGH now looking to a free and fair poll.

“Even Rongara – Siju candidates had been threatened by the outfit and with his death, that area will be peaceful. This should have been done (Sohan killed or arrested) years ago but it has happened only now,” said a Tura resident on condition of anonymity.

Another question being raised on the encounter is who stands to benefit from the sudden killing.

“It is impossible that he survived for so long without some higher ups patronizing him and thus it was very convenient to just bump him off as all secrets will now go with him. And there was also the demand for an NIA investigation into the killing which could have opened up the entire politico-militant nexus. This has to be found out immediately as we cannot have Garo Hills bleeding again due to the criminals in governance,” added Agnes.

The revelation of a surrendered cadre of 30 IEDs planted across EGH was also raised.

“Where are these IEDs and what will happen to them? We also want to know if the police made any attempts to try and get the GNLA commander alive as that would have provided answers to so many unanswered questions,” said the CSWO president.

Sohan’s death, while it comes with a lot of balm for those that have suffered over 2 decades through senseless killings, has also raised many uncomfortable questions and unless an investigation is taken up by a central agency, may die a natural death along with him. The question now is – will the Pandora’s Box be allowed to open.



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