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By Ibankyntiew Mawrie
A low-intensity IED blast occurred at Soo Kilo under Sutnga Elaka in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district on Thursday around 3:00 am for which the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) claimed responsibility.
When contacted, the EJH Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar Palecha told TNT-The Northeast Today that they could only ascertain the group or individual behind the attack as soon as the investigation was over.
“The investigation is ongoing. HNLC are claiming (responsibility), but we will not comment on who did it only (until) we complete the investigation,” Palecha said.
Palecha said police received the information late and discovered that it was a very low-intensity blast after they arrived at the scene.
“One of the shops was completely damaged. However, there were no casualties,” he said.
Meanwhile, a bomb squad from Shillong arrived at the scene on Friday morning to review the situation.
“The officer in charge and investigating officer of Khliehriat are talking to the people, recording the statements of the people who heard the explosion. As of now, everything is under investigation,” the EJH SP said.
The HNLC, on Friday, issued a press release claiming responsibility for the blast.
HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw accused Meghalaya police of covering up the incident.
“They never want to show that the HNLC is still strong and has its roots all over the Khasi and Jaintia hills region,” Nongtraw said.
“The hiding tactics of the police department shall encourage the HNLC to come out with more operations, whereby we do not care at all if lives are lost. If at all any such incidents take place whereby human lives are lost, the police department will blame the HNLC even if it does not involve us,” he said.
The HNLC further stated that they planted the IED at Soo Kilo as the area serves as a hotbed for outsiders to carry out illegal business activities.
“This area is famous for prostitution, gambling, and many other anti-social activities. The market functions as a coal depot and everything takes place by the cooperation of the police as they get their timely shares from the proceedings,” Nongtraw added.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)