Shillong, Dec 22: A self styled Lance Corporal of Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) was killed in an encounter with the joint team of police and army in lower Assam Golapara District on Friday night.
The security forces had launched an search operation on a tip off about the kidnapping planned by extremists in Suorkona village, under Lakhipur Police station and cordoned off the area. On coming face to face with security team at around 8 pm on Friday night, the militants opened fire and in a retaliatory shooting in self defence one GNLA militant was killed while two managed to escape in the dense vegetation.
The deceased was later identified as SS Lance Corporal Bilpak B Marak as per the rank and promotion certificate from Commander - in - Chief of GNLA, Sohan D Shira, stating “This is to certify that Shri Bilpak B. Marak has been promoted the rank of Lance corporal. The decision has been taken by the central committee for the brave action and commitment of the army fighting against the enemy, killing sub-inspector of the Cobra unit (CRPF) and being able to defend himself and his troops safely.”
Marak had also been working as an over ground worker of the outfit besides having close ties with Sohan.
One 5.56mm M16 assault rifle (Made in USA), one magazine with 12 live rounds was also recovered from the slain militant.
Mentionably, On July 30, Chairman of GNLA, Champion R. Sangma, was arrested from Meghalaya's Umkrem Pyrwdiwah area near the India-Bangladesh after he was pushed back to India by Bangladesh authorities.
Champion, a former deputy superintendent of police, deserted the Meghalaya Police and floated the GNLA due to alleged harassment by his seniors, is facing charges under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The outfit has forged alliances with Bangladesh-based rebel group A'chik Special Dragon Party, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB).
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
GNLA rebels, who number around 200, unleashed a reign of terror in the five impoverished districts of Garo Hills in the last two years and killed over 35 people, including security personnel and abducted more than 50 people for ransom.