Rebels sneak into Meghalaya to disrupt I-Day celebrations: Minister

August 12th, 2010 - 11:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Shillong, Aug 12 (IANS) About 10 to 12 rebels of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) have sneaked into India from Bangladesh to disrupt the Independence Day celebrations in Meghalaya, Home Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh said Thursday.
“We have reports that about 10 to 12 HNLC cadres have managed to sneak into India from Bangladesh with weapons and police is on their look-out,” Lyngdoh told reporters ahead of the HNLC-called “night curfew” from 10 p.m. Thursday.

The HNLC, which operates in Khasi-Jaintia Hills region in eastern part of Meghalaya, has called for a 36-hour shutdown from 6 p.m. Aug 14 to 6 a.m. Aug 16.

At the same time, the Khasi rebel group also called for a night curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on both Aug 12 and 13.

Lyngdoh said the police have launched an extensive search operation to nab the HNLC militants.

One of the rebels, Aiborlang Khartani alias Saddam Hussein, was apprehended by Meghalaya Police from Pynthorsale village in Jaintia Hills district. Two AK-47 rifles, four magazines along with 90 rounds of live ammunition were seized from him.

Police are also for the first time using motorcycles to conduct patrols in the city.

Checkpoints have been erected at different locations and vehicles are being thoroughly checked in the city and on the National Highways.

“All police stations and outposts have been alerted and checkpoints have been put in place to check movement of the HNLC cadres,” Meghalaya Director General of Police S.B. Kakati told IANS.

The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in eastern Meghalaya.

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

The Khasi militant outfit is closely linked to the National Democratic Front of Bodoland 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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