Shillong, May 6: The Meghalaya government today exhorted its citizensand its employees to denounce the Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)’s call to shut down all state and central government offices from May 8 to 13.
In an official communiqué, the state government reiterated its firm commitment to maintain law and order at all costs and to ensure that the security of the citizens is not compromised in any way.
“Citizens and especially the government employees are exhorted not to pay any heed to this unreasonable call and to come out as they would on any normal day and carry on with their daily activities without any fear or apprehension of reprisals,” the statement said.
Condemning such “unwarranted threat”, the government also appealed to not to be intimidated by the call made by the outfit.
The government reiterated its commitment to deal with such cases with a firm hand in keeping with its constitutional obligation to ensure peace and a secure environment for all citizens of the state.
On Sunday, the Khasi outfit in its statement issued to the media had threatened to announce a “total shutdown” of government offices for four days — May 8, 9, 12 and 13 — if an arrested pressure group leader is not released immediately.
Meghalaya police have arrested president of the Hynniewtrep A’chik National Movement (HANM), Lamphrang Kharbani, along with three of his friends from Rangthong village in South West Khasi Hills district following allegations that he had crossed over from Bangladesh after a meeting with the HNLC leaders.
While it was claimed that letterheads and demand notes, purportedly belonging to the proscribed outfit, were seized from the arrested individuals, HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw, however, put off the charges being levelled against Kharbani.
Nongtraw condemned the arrest of the HANM leader along with others by the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and claimed that the allegations made by the police were baseless and held no grounds.
The HNLC demanded immediate and unconditional release of Kharbani and his friends.