Meghalaya heightens security ahead of I-Day

Shillong, Aug 11 (Calcutta Tube) Security has been heightened in Meghalaya following the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council’s (HNLC) call to boycott Independence Day celebrations, police said Wednesday.

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who chaired a cabinet meeting, said the government has taken all necessary steps to see that adequate security is in place in view of the HNLC boycott call.

‘Whenever a militant group sends out a statement or threat, we (government) take it very seriously. Security measures are being deliberated in the four walls which I will not be able to share with you,’ Sangma told reporters.

Sangma, however, appealed to people of the state to come out and celebrate Independence Day.

The outlawed 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 Aug 12 and 13 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on both the days.

Earlier, senior police officials said that 10-15 HNLC rebels have sneaked into Meghalaya from their hideouts in Bangladesh to disrupt Independence Day celebrations.

One of the rebels, Aiborlang Khartani alias Saddam Hussein, was apprehended by Meghalaya police from Pynthorsale Village, Jaintia Hills district in eastern Meghalaya.

Police seized two AK-47 rifles, four magazines along with 90 rounds of live ammunition.

‘All police stations and outposts have been alerted and check points 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 (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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