The Telegraph
Friday , February 21 , 2014
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Police rule out HNLC-KSU link

Shillong, Feb. 20: Meghalaya police have ruled out any nexus between the Khasi Students’ Union and the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) following reports that a KSU leader had joined the outfit.

Reports surfaced that KSU vice-president Frederick Kharmawphlang had left the students' union to join hands with the HNLC. He had reportedly tendered his resignation letter to KSU president Daniel Khyriem wherein he mentioned that he would join the proscribed group.

Yesterday, the HNLC said it welcomes the stand taken by Kharmawphlang and 13 others to join with the outfit.

The superintendent of police, East Khasi Hills, M. Kharkrang, today said according to reports, Kharmawphlang had gone on his personal capacity.

Kharmawphlang's parents and members of the KSU's Nongthymmai unit met the SP today. The general secretary of the union, Auguster Jyrwa, met Kharkrang yesterday.

“The parents were in a state of shock and they have no idea if he (Kharmawphlang) has joined the HNLC. He has been away during the inner-line permit (ILP) agitation last year, but he was present during the meeting held with the government on January 15. It emerges that he had disappeared a couple of days back,” Kharkrang said.

He said some cases relating to arson had been registered against Kharmawphlang during the agitation.

The district police chief also said “right now” there is no nexus between the KSU and the HNLC. He also said it could not be confirmed whether 13 others had joined the proscribed group. “The report that Kharmawphlang had joined along with 13 others could be a propaganda of the HNLC,” he said.

Kharkrang said that police were ready to work with the KSU and other organisations to conduct an awareness drive to make the youths understand that joining militant outfits will not benefit them or society.

“We don’t want our youths to be misguided by any element like in the past,” he said.

Kharkrang said Kharmawphlang's parents had not filed any missing person's report. He said there was no letter addressed to the KSU to confirm that Kharmawphlang has joined the proscribed group. The police have suggested that Kharmawphlang’s parents should appeal to him to return home.

At the same time, the police are baffled as to why Kharmawphlang had publicised his joining the HNLC. The police are not ruling out that it could be a method to entice other youths to join the group.

Kharkrang, however, said Kharmawphlang’s joining the HNLC would not boost the HNLC. “But we will do all that is possible to ensure that our youths are not misguided.”

Kharkrang also said as far as information gathered by the police, the HNLC is bereft of arms and ammunition. On whether social networking sites have helped militant outfits reach out to the youths, Kharkrang said one of the sites has been “doing a lot of damage”.