Meghalaya: IED blast rocks Star Cement’s residential colony, HNLC claims responsibility

“Investigation is on and a criminal case has already been registered. A team of the bomb squad and dog squad are already here to examine the site,” East Jaintia Hills Superintendent of Police Deepak KumarPalecha said.
Meghalaya: IED blast rocks Star Cement’s residential colony, HNLC claims responsibility
Representational

SHILLONG: A low-intensity IED blast occurred at the residential colony of Star Cement at Lumshnong in East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district of Meghalaya on December 12 around 8.40 pm.

When contacted, the EJH Superintendent of Police Deepak Kumar Palecha told TNT-The Northeast Today that one person sustained minor injuries and treatment has already been administered. The blast also resulted in the collapse of a wall besides damaging a water pipeline.

“Investigation is on and a criminal case has already been registered. A team of the bomb squad and dog squad are already here to examine the site,” Palecha said.

Meanwhile, the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has claimed responsibility for the IED blast at Star Cement’s residential colony.

“The reason for carrying out the blast was because Star Cement refused to pay taxes to the HNLC. Any industry or company run by non-locals has to pay tax to the HNLC and, if there is a violation of the same, they will face our ire,” HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a statement issued on Sunday.

While extending its “sympathy” to any injured person due to the blast, the proscribed outfit has justified its action as a compulsion arising due to the “insensitivity” of the state police, “who continue to underestimate us.”

This is the second blast in the district in three weeks. The first blast occurred at Soo Kilo under Sutnga Elaka in East Jaintia Hills district on Nov 26 around 3:00 am. The HNLC had claimed responsibility for this incident.

The HNLC had said they planted the IED at Soo Kilo as the area serves as a hotbed for outsiders to carry out illegal business activities.

ALSO READ: Low-intensity IED blast at Soo Kilo area in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills, HNLC claims responsibility

“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 had stated.

When asked about the progress of the first case, the EJH SP said, “We are still investigating. We had already taken the statements of people and, we working on the lead. Let’s see who the main culprits are.”

ALSO READ: Meghalaya BJP slams Congress for "questioning" party's stand on ILP

Recently, Health Minister and BJP leader, AL Hek, who has been actively following up on the peace talks' proposal of the HNLC with the central government, informed that he had asked the state Political Department to provide details of the previous discussions between the government of Meghalaya and the HNLC.

“We are going to submit the report after the COVID situation improves in the state. Definitely, some positive outcome is expected,” Hek had stated.

Commenting on the recent IED blast at Sookilo in East Jaintia Hills district, to which the HNLC had claimed responsibility, Hek urged the proscribed outfit not to resort to violence and to join the mainstream.

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