Shillong, July 31: Meghalaya police today hit out at the breakaway faction of the A’chik National Volunteers’ Council (ANVC), and asserted that the outfit intended to foment communal tension along the inter-state border.
The West Garo Hills police arrested 24 ANVC (B) cadres on July 26 from the outfit’s supposed camp at Edenbari, about 7km from Tura, the district headquarters, in relation to the killing of two migrant labourers. “These arrests were effected on the basis of credible intelligence inputs and intensive investigation about the involvement of the ANVC (B) cadres into the killings. Cases of extortion, murder and those under the Arms Act have been registered against the arrested cadres,” Meghalaya inspector-general of police (operations) G.H.P. Raju said in a statement. While 18 cadres have been remanded in judicial custody, six have been detained in police custody.
According to Raju, sustained interrogation of the arrested cadres, including senior ANVC (B) leader Salingbirth D. Sangma alias Solid, has revealed that the “nefarious design of the outfit in perpetrating the gruesome killings of innocent migrant workers was to foment communal tension” on the inter-state border.
“The arrest of ANVC (B) cadres has possibly had the salutary effect of containing wider repercussions of the situation and preventing avoidable loss of life and property,” he added.
Moreover, he said that ANVC (B) “chairman” Bernard N. Marak alias Rimpu did not respond to the notice for appearance issued by the investigating officer of Tura police station for recording of his statement in connection with the involvement of the outfit’s cadres into the gruesome killings.
The police official said that the ANVC (B) leadership, in a bid to disassociate itself from the heinous crimes perpetrated by the outfit, is in the habit of resorting to releasing of media reports to divert the attention of the public from its own misdeeds and criminal activities.
“Meghalaya police stands by its commitment to professional integrity in its actions and will not hesitate to initiate punitive action against all those indulging in any criminal and unlawful activities,” Raju added.