HNLC threatens to target non-tribals

SHILLONG: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Friday threatened to target non-tribals if police do not stop harassing its members saying they can kill up to ten people with a one-minute burst from their automatic rifles.
Saiñkupar Nongtraw, general secretary-cum-publicity secretary of the militant outfit, warned the police to stop harassing the members and not to underestimate them.
“If they do, we shall fire indiscriminately at non-tribals be they beggars, businessmen, the high class or low class. The police should not underestimate us. With an automatic assault rifle we can shoot up to ten non-tribals in a minute. We are serious about it. Do not provoke us,” he said in a statement.
The statement comes in the wake of the outfit killing a Pynursla businessman Romeo Lyngdoh earlier this week accusing him of being a police informer and having connections with all the higher-ups.
The police, however, refuted the claim saying Romeo actually belonged to the HNLC and raised funds for it.
“If that is the case then why didn’t the police arrest him in 2016 when his car was used by our cadres? When he was the owner, how could the police let him get away? When the police could arrest youths for simply having links with the HNLC, why didn’t they arrest Romeo? It was not a small case as IEDs and assault rifles were recovered. If Romeo was not an informer then why did SOT personnel come to meet him and drink with him,” Nongtraw said. He said the day he was killed, Romeo was sitting outside and drinking and when he saw the outfit’s cadres he tried to run and get his 9mm pistol which they had seized from his possession.
“This unlicensed 9mm pistol was given to him by the police for his defence.
A vehicle was also given to him by the police. Romeo was in no way associated with us. Now that he is dead the police are using him and denying he was their special informer. It is the way of the police to lure youths and force them to become informers,” he said.
On the accusation that HNLC had demanded money from Romeo, the statement said, “ Why will we demand money from a police informer knowing that he will inform the police. We are not fools. Before we eliminate anybody we verify the name, address and his crime towards our cause. Knowing the nickname Bahlieh is not hard. We had warned prior to the attack in the media that we shall eliminate a police informer. After getting information about his credentials and history we decided to award him death penalty. If it was a case of money then by now so many people would have been killed by us. Why only Bahlieh?”Asking the police to accept that Bahlieh was an informer and compensate his family as they had used him and his services, the HNLC said that denial will make the police department lose more informers as they will realise that after using them, the police will simply put the blame on them.
“The police by using local informers are trying to create a divide among us,” the HNLC alleged.

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