Meghalaya: Surrendered GNLA leader among 4 arrested for illegal coal, boulder smuggling

Meghalaya: Surrendered GNLA leader among 4 arrested for illegal coal, boulder smuggling


In a major development, the Meghalaya Forest Department today arrested four persons including a former area commander of the banned Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) after they were caught smuggling coal and boulders in East Garo Hills.

The four accused were caught while smuggling the items within the Rongrenggre Forest Reserve in Baiza under Williamnagar PS in the district.

Rakban D Shira (Philiport) was a senior member of the GNLA when he surrendered to the police a few years ago. He was among the four who were arrested today.


The others arrested have been identified as Abham Shir (29 of Lower Dilma, Resubelpara in NGH), Green R Marak (32 of Romgreng Chidekgre in EGH) and Nabul Choudhary (50 of Ambari Fatasil under Guwahati in Assam).

As per information from forest sources in EGH, the incident took place this morning at 2:30 AM when two trucks along with an i20 car were stopped near the Chisobibra tri junction, about 10 kms from Williamnagar.

"When the truck was checked we found it was carrying coal and boulders. The i20 was apparently escorting the truck. When questioned, they revealed that they had taken the coal and boulders from within the Rongrenggre Reserve. The four were apprehended and arrested under the MMDR Act as well as MFRA," said the highly placed forest source from EGH.


The truck carrying coal bore registration AS 17C 2085 with the i20 having registration of ML 05G 1939.

A few days ago, another truck with coal, extracted from within the Rongrenggre Reserve was also caught revealing how some local criminals, in conjunction with Assam smugglers and traders, had been ravaging the fragile Rongrenggre Reserve. Ironically the forest department, just a few days prior, had sealed the coal pits within the forest!

Confirming the development, the acting SP of EGH, Abraham T Sangma said that the four, including Rakban were in the custody of the police with the forest department filing a case against them. The 4 are expected to be produced in Court tomorrow.

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