Suspected criminal mastermind, William Sangma, who was reportedly behind numerous cases of kidnapping, murder and extortion, was allegedly killed by unidentified gunmen last night.
Sangma is understood to have been attacked by four men in the village of Garojaan in Assam’s Boko last night. He had been book in multiple cases of murder and extortion carried out in both Meghalaya and Assam and was out on bail following his surrender in 2018.
According to reports, Sangma was in the home of his wife when the four gunmen arrived, took him out of the house and then shot him with an assault rifle.
Superintendent of Police in Kamrup Rural district, Hitesh Roy, said the murder is being investigated.
Sangma had been notorious for leading a gang comprising his younger brother and others and had even floated a militant outfit, A’chik National Cooperative Army (ANCA), through which he recruited others to his outfit while going on kidnapping, murder and extortion drives across the two states.
Meghalaya police sources claimed that Sangma had floated a new gang and had been seen with arms by many villagers after surrendering. This outfit is suspected to have been behind the kidnapping of a banker from Dalu while he was on his way home from Tura in West Garo Hills. The employee was only released after a ransom was paid.
Another kidnapping, though unreported, was that of a businessman from Assam. He was also released after a ransom was paid.
“He and his gang members had already made many extortion calls and collected huge sums of money through their criminal activities. In the absence of complaints, action in these cases was impossible,” said a highly-placed police source.
Sangma has been famous for his many run-ins with the law in a criminal career that spanned close to a decade. His criminal links extended as far as Kerala, from where he was once arrested.
He and his gang were very active on the Tura-Dalu road and had even gone as far as shooting an unarmed police officer on the route.
The gang then shifted base to North Garo Hills where the members terrorised villages.
Sangma only surrendered due to failing health. He gave himself up to North Garo Hills police and was incarcerated in Tura District Jail. The suspected criminal was granted bail recently despite the threat he posed to society and the fact that he had been in and out of jail eight times.