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Ball in HNLC’s court to decide its future: Lapang
Correspondent UMSAW (MEGHALAYA), DEC 19:
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Published on 19 Dec. 2009 11:05 PM IST
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Slamming the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) for calling the 24-hour bandh, Meghalaya Chief Minister DD Lapang today said that “the ball is in HNLC’s court to decide its future”. “If the HNLC wanted people’s support, they should not have resorted to bandh which had affected the lives of many,” he told reporters at North Eastern Police Academy here. The tribal Khasi militant outfit which is fighting for an independent tribal ‘’Sovereign Hynniewtrep Homeland’’ had called the 24-hour bandh in protest against the maiden visit of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to the state. “I wondered why the HNLC to continue with its bandh despite Chidambaram had cancelled his visit,” Lapang said. The Union Home Minister was scheduled to address the passing-out-parade at NEPA. He however cancelled his visit due to the ongoing political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh over Telangana issue. “The ball is in HNLC’s court to decide their future. I have invited them to come over ground and they should decide,” the Chief Minister said. Earlier, Lapang had offered a safe-passage to HNLC leaders who are holed up in Bangladesh to come over ground to facilitate peace talk. Meanwhile, Lapang asked the police officials in the North Eastern states to adopt a people’s friendly approach for better policing. “If police are anti-people, the people would turn out to be anti-police. Therefore, I appeal to you all to be friendly with the people,” Mr Lapang said, while speaking out at passing-out-parade of 414 police officials at the North Eastern Police Academy (NEPA) here. The Chief Minister also urged the police officials to lead from the front against militant activities rather than pushing constables to the front to fight. NEPA Director RR Verma, who also spoke on the occasion, said that with the passage of time, the Academy has grown from strength to strength to secure the status of an institute of excellence. “Our commitment is to train and prepare police officers capable of accepting the challenges of the 21st century. In the process of growth a few things have been done, a few things are being done and many things are yet to be done,” Mr Verma said. Earlier, altogether 414 trainees from - Mizoram 99, Manipur 252, Tripura 1, Meghalaya 55, Nagaland 1 and Arunachal Pradesh 6, including two lady Deputy Superintendent of Police and 20 lady Cadet Sub Inspectors pledged to serve the nation and to sincerely perform their duty in the oath taking ceremony. HNLC bandh evokes partial response The 24-hour bandh called by the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant outfit evoked partial response in Meghalaya today. Official sources said that there was no untoward incident barring stone-pelting inside Iewduh (market) by outfit’s sympathisers. The HNLC had called the bandh in protest against the maiden visit of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to Meghalaya, who was scheduled to address the passing-out-parade at the North Eastern Police Academy in Umsaw. However, the Home Minister cancelled his visit to the state due to his preoccupation with the ongoing political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh over Telangana issue. However, for the first time perhaps an HNLC bandh failed to generate complete response from the public. In the morning hours, almost all the shops in the city were opened however before noon the shopkeepers downed their shutters after HNLC sympathisers pelted stones at shops inside Iewduh. Nonetheless, many people defied the bandh with many of people turned out to the streets, while vehicle movement along the National Highway 40 and 44 was also running smooth. However, bank and other financial institutions remained closed for the day. Earlier, the militant outfit termed the bandh as a ‘’political protest’’ against leaders of the Union government because they ‘’failed to address the problems of the people and the Hynniewtrep land.’’ The HNLC, a tribal Khasi militant outfit, is fighting for an independent tribal ‘’Sovereign Hynniewtrep Homeland’’ and carrying out its hit-and-run operation against the state out of Bangladesh.

 
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