A woman was shot in the head by armed militants when she tried to resist a rape attempt in front of her children in Meghalaya on Tuesday evening. Police suspect the outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) is behind the killing.
“A group of four to five militants forcibly entered the house, pulled out the woman and assaulted and molested her in the presence of four minor children. They had locked her husband in a room. When the woman resisted, one of the assailants pulled out his automatic assault rifle and shot her in the head from point blank range, blowing her head to pieces. The militants fled immediately,” H Nongpluh, IGP (Western Range) in charge of the Garo Hills, said.
The incident occurred at Goera Rongat, a village under Chokpot police station in South Garo Hills district. The GNLA has been active in the region for the past few years, with several cases of extortion and abductions reported from the area.
“It is a horrible incident and an act of cowardice committed by the militants. It is a gruesome murder committed in cold blood and must be condemned by one and all,” said state home minister Roshan Warjri, who headed to South Garo Hills after holding a meeting convened by Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma in Shillong.
“Militants have been involved in various kinds of unlawful activities, including extortion, abduction, murder and ambushes. But never before have they carried out such a horrible act,” Warjri said. “This comes at a time when the government has opened doors for the outfit to come forward for peaceful negotiations.”
Pointing the finger at Kiljang R Sangma, the local area commander of GNLA, police said militants wanted to project the woman as a police informer. However, Nongpluh said, “I do not have any information that the deceased woman had any link with police.”
A search operation launched by police has not yielded any result so far. “We have sent additional forces to back up the district police. Directions have been given to take all steps to apprehend the culprits,” Warjri said.
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.