Meghalaya police seized ammunition linked to banned HNLC

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Meghalaya police seized ammunition linked to banned HNLC

Shillong: In a major development, arms and ammunition allegedly linked to the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) outfit were seized in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district, local police reports said.
The seizures followed the arrest of four persons linked to the outfit in connection with the IED blast in the disputed Punjabi Lane area of ​​Shillong based on information provided by them.
Superintendent of Police Jagpal Dhanoa Singh confirmed to sources that the items seized in Ri-Bhoi district on Wednesday included firearms, gelatin sticks, detonators, ignition fuses and HNLC flags.

The IED blast in the Punjabi Lane area on Saturday night resulted in injuries to at least one person. The four arrested individuals were reportedly acting on directives from their handlers affiliated with the HNLC believed to be based in neighboring Bangladesh.

Further arrests were made including Tarzan Lymba identified as the disciplinary secretary of the Hynniewtrep National Youth Front, for their alleged involvement in the blast.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has vowed stringent action against those responsible for the blast, with several arrests already made in connection with the incident.

Meanwhile Sikhs residing in the disputed Punjabi Lane area have penned a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah alleging that the blast was orchestrated to disrupt negotiations concerning the relocation of residents from the area to municipal land for rehabilitation.

Tensions in the Punjabi Lane area have simmered since 2018 when violence erupted following an alleged assault on a bus driver by Sikhs. The subsequent imposition of a month-long curfew marked a turbulent period.

The government had proposed relocating the Sikhs, who were originally brought to Shillong by the British around 200 years ago for sanitation work, to another parcel of land. While initially hesitant the Sikhs agreed to the relocation but demanded that the government bear the costs of constructing their new residences.

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