HNLC office picketing: Admin toughens stand

‘Central, State Govt offices, banks to function normally’

Officiating Chief Secretary Barkos Warjri and DGP
PJP Hanaman come out after a high-level meeting
on the HNLC agitation call, on Wednesday. (UB)

SHILLONG: The East Khasi Hills district administration has decided to take a firm stand against the “total shutdown of the Government offices” call of the banned HNLC, asking government employees to attend offices and promising adequate security measures.

Authorities of Central Government offices including banks had assured the State Government that they would keep open their offices during the four-day shutdown call by HNLC on May 8, 9, 12 and 13, acting Chief Secretary Barkos Warjri said on Wednesday.

East Khasi Hills SP M Kharkrang warned that anyone preventing any government employee from going to office or obstructing normal life would be deemed as aiding HNLC and dealt with accordingly.

“If any person is preventing any Government servant from going to office or obstructing normal life, it shall be deemed that such persons are aiding and abetting HNLC,” Kharkrang said. They would be arrested and a case would be registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in addition to different sections under IPC, he warned.

Warjri chaired a meeting with officials of Central Government offices, including financial institutions, during the day to ensure normality during the HNLC-sponsored office picketing. Senior officials of NEC, BSNL, Customs, Central Excise and the office of the Accountant General attended the meeting. Speaking to reporters, Warjri said the Government expected normal functioning of both Central and State Government offices.

“The banks, including the lead bank SBI, will function normally in the whole State,” Warjri said.

The Government was committed to ensure law and order and security as it was the duty of the State Government. He asserted that the Government would not bow down to the pressure tactic of HNLC as the agitation would affect the livelihood and economy of the people.

East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Goyal said all the officers goers should attend their offices normally

as there was no reason to fear from anyone. Elaborate security measures had been arranged in view of the shut down call.

Goyal said he had held discussions with different transporters’ associations and local taxi associations and all had assured that they would ply their vehicles normally. “All employees are directed to attend office as they can’t give the excuse that transport was not available,” Goyal said.

Goyal also informed that the administration has arranged public transport in adequate numbers so that employees do not face any problem in attending offices.

The office goers can also inform the police on control room No. 2222277 in case of any obstruction caused by anyone, Goyal said.

HNLC has called the four-day office picketing demanding immediate release of HANM president Lamphrang Kharbani and four others for their alleged link with the banned outfit.