No hand in student leader’s killing in Bangladesh: HNLC

May 13th, 2010 - 12:53 am ICT by IANS  

Shillong, May 12 (IANS) The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) Wednesday claimed that it had no hand in the killing of a Khasi student activist, missing since 2007, in Bangladesh.
The Khasi militant outfit, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been accused by its arrested ’sergeant major’ Paniston Pakyntien that HNLC cadres had killed Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) leader Phershal Kongwang in Bangladesh.

Kongwang had been missing from Dec 16, 2007, after he was reportedly abducted by HNLC cadres from Umkrem village.

“We offer the Meghalaya police and Khasi Student’s Union and surrendered and arrested HNLC cadres to lead the HNLC to the location where Kongwang was buried in order to find out the truth,” HNLC spokesman Sainkupar Nongtraw said.

In an e-mail statement, the HNLC which is fighting for a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland for the tribal Khasi and Jaintia people in Eastern Meghalaya, also denied that it knew Kongwang or had any enmity towards him.

However, police officials who interrogated Pakyntien told IANS that he (Pakyntien) confessed that HNLC cadres had killed Kongwang and his body was buried at Radhanagar Bagan, a tea garden in Jaflong area of Bangladesh’s Sylhet district.

Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced, and prone to frequent infiltration.

In June 2008, four surrendered HNLC cadres revealed that the outfit had kidnapped the KSU leader and later killed him in Bangladesh.

On Tuesday, the influential KSU demanded from the HNLC to come clear with the confession of Pakyntien that the outfit had abducted and killed Kongwang.

“We are convinced that Khongwang was abducted and killed by the HNLC. The outfit must come clear with the reason behind his killing,” KSU general secretary Hamletson Dohling told IANS.

However, the HNLC termed the confessional statement of its arrested and surrendered cadres as “nothing” but a “propaganda”.

The HNLC is closely linked to the outlawed National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) as well as to the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland and the National Liberation Front of Tripura.

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