Shillong: Former HNLC leader Cherishterfield Thangkhiew was killed in the early hours of Friday at his residence in Mawlai-Kynton Massar in Shillong.
Thangkhiew, 56, was killed during an encounter with the police after a joint team of East Jaintia Hills police and East Khasi Hills police raided his house in connection with the recent blasts in the state at about 3 am on Friday.
Meghalaya Director General of Police (DGP) R Chandranathan said incontrovertible evidence led the police to raid the house of surrendered militant Cherishterfield Thangkhiew.
The raid turned to an encounter in the early hours of Friday, when combined team of East Jaintia Hills Police and East Khasi Hills Police raided Thangkhiew’s residence at Mawlai Kynton Massar in Shillong.
Chandranathan said the former general secretary of the banned outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) was involved in the recent IED bomb blast at Laitumkhrah market in Shillong, and was also wanted in the IED blast at Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills.
As soon as the team entered the former militant’s house, police sources said, he attacked the team with a knife and the police subsequently opened fire in retaliation. Police sources said he was injured in the firing and was taken to a hospital, where the doctor declared him ‘brought dead’.
“On entering the house, he wielded a knife and attacked one of the police personnel who fired a retaliatory shot, which injured him,” the DGP said.
Police recovered one 9 mm pistol, one knife, a laptop and a number of mobile phones from the house former HNLC general secretary.
Police also arrested two associates from his house, including Cherishterfield’s son.
Thangkhiew, the self-styled general secretary of the banned rebel outfit HNLC, had surrendered before Meghalaya Deputy CM Prestone Tynsong at Shillong in October, 2018. He was known as one of the most dreaded militant leaders of the state and was the founding member of the HNLC.
The HNLC leader was also instrumental in setting up more than six training camps of the outfit in Sylhet and Maulavibazar districts of Bangladesh.
54-year-old Thangkhiew, son of Stevenson Thangkhiew of Mawlai Kynton Masar, joined Hynniewtrep Achik Liberation Council (HALC), the first militant outfit in Meghalaya, in August 1987 and held the post of general secretary.
He was actively involved in political mobilization.
Later when HALC was disbanded, a new rebel outfit–HNLC was floated in 1997 and he became its general secretary. In 2004, he left Meghalaya for Bangladesh and never returned till his surrender in 2018.
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