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Police to investigate HNLC claims

Shillong, July 23: Meghalaya police today neither confirmed nor denied the claims made by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) that the outfit is “back” with cadres who were well-trained in handling sophisticated weapons.

Yesterday, the outfit made an announcement through its mouthpiece, The Voice of The Hynniewtrep, on Facebook where it stated: “The HNLC is back again, and this time, it boasts of cadres who are well-trained in handling sophisticated weapons and can operate in any kind of terrain.”

“The attention of the police department has been drawn towards the reports, which are presently speculative in nature. The department will carry out an investigation to ascertain the facts,” said Meghalaya director-general of police N. Ramachandran, while speaking to reporters here. The police chief said the department would look into the matter.

“These reports should be substantiated by facts, and we should get positive evidence before making further comments,” Ramachandran added.

Asked about the two firing incidents — one in the city and the other in Jaintia Hills — where the outfit has claimed responsibility, the top cop said, “We are still investigating in order to get clinching evidence.”

The outfit had also stated yesterday that its “well-trained cadres” had exchanged fire with police personnel at Kongong village in Jaintia Hills on Saturday.

Earlier, it had claimed responsibility over the shooting at Lumdiengjri police station here.

The incident had occurred on the night of July 2.

The outfit would again come up with more operations in the future, the message through Facebook said.

On reports of fresh insurgent groups like the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Army (HNLA) and the Hynniewtrep People’s Liberation Front (HPLF) cropping up, Ramachandran said the police were yet to receive evidence whether these groups are front organisations of the HNLC.

The police have been able to neutralise the HNLA after some members of the group were arrested.

“We found them to be only paper tigers,” Ramachandran added.

The DGP said the police are reviewing the law and order situation in the city and security has been strengthened.

The HNLC had also issued a warning to all those who had become “police informers” saying it would impose extreme punishment on them, including “death penalty”.

“The outfit has warned the youths of the entire Hynniewtrep, irrespective of sex, who are involved in partying, drinking, creating nuisance in public and spoiling the traditional and social image of Hynniewtrep. It has warned all bar owners and party organisers to stop all illegal activities that take place in the guise of social gatherings,” the outfit had stated.

The armed group said it would take all these issues seriously to create a good social atmosphere in Hynniewtrep. “People underestimating the warnings of the council and violating its diktat will be firmly dealt with. Our cadres are present everywhere in Hynniewtrep and would keep track of all the illegal activities that are spoiling the roots of our culture,” the outfit had said.

The outfit had also requested people to offer a helping hand in curbing all these “menaces” in society.