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Meghalaya Home Minister, Lahkmen Rymbui on December 14 said the police will firmly deal if the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) is trying to raise its head by indulging in activities to deteriorate peace and harmony in the State.
On the threat by the banned outfit that they will carry out more blasts in different locations that they have identified, he said they have got many leads on the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast incident adding that the police are investigating those leads.
“We cannot divulge anything at the moment. It is not only the state police but other organisations are also investigating the IED blast incident,” Meghalaya Home Minister said.
It may be mentioned that the HNLC had also claimed responsibility for the IED blast at Star Cement factory in East Jaiñtia Hills on December 12 evening.
Reacting on this, Rymbui said he is not aware if it is the HNLC who is responsible for the IED blast. “We need to properly investigate if the HNLC was really responsible in this incident. The police will look at all possibilities to prevent the occurrence of this type of incident. We treat this kind of incident as a criminal act,” Meghalaya Home Minister said.
He added that the police department will not let its guard down, adding that the people who made claims about the blast at Shallang in West Khasi Hills have already been arrested.
Reiterating that the HNLC is a banned organisation, he said the doors are open for the HNLC to come forward for the peace talks.
“Talks cannot be started through threatening. It will happen only through mutual understanding,” he said.
Replying to a query, Rymbui said there has been no communication with the Government of India concerning HNLC.
“The last communication from the Centre was in November 2019 when they issued a notification declaring the HNLC as a banned organisation. After this there was no further communication from the Centre,” he informed.
On the demand by the HNLC to levy tax from the cement factory, Rymbui said that no organisation can levy tax.
“Whatever tax is levied only by duly authorized empowered by law and not beyond the law,” Meghalaya Home Minister added.
(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)