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Centre keeps 10-yr-old ‘banned’ tag on HNLC
Shillong, Dec 17 (AGENCIES):
Published on 17 Dec. 2010 11:32 PM IST
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Ten years after they were declared unlawful organizations, the Centre has re-affirmed the need to carry on with the ban on the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) while its counterpart the Achik National Volunteer’s Council (ANVC), currently under ceasefire, is free of the tag.
A senior police official said today the HNLC was banned again as there was no change of stand of the militant outfit as far as its demands were concerned. The Centre, following the violent activities of HNLC and ANVC, had declared them unlawful organizations on November 16.
In a recent notification, the Union ministry of home affairs said as HNLC has openly declared its objective of secession from the Indian Union and continues to indulge in extortion, maintains link with other militant groups in the Northeast, it is an unlawful association.
According to the Union home ministry, the activities of HNLC are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
If these activities were not immediately curbed, the HNLC would re-group and re-arm itself, expand its cadres, procure sophisticated weapons, cause heavy loss of life of civilians and security forces, and accelerate its anti-national activities.
After the HNLC was banned 10 years ago, the group engaged in large-scale killings, kidnappings and extortion till 2005. Later, police went hard on HNLC, busting its financial cells and arresting many cadres. Many HNLC cadres were also killed in these encounters.
The biggest setback for the group was the decision of its chairman, Julius Dorphang, to come overground in 2007. With Dorphang joining the mainstream, as many as 150 cadres of HNLC followed suit.
The main reason for the HNLC cadres to leave the organization was because of scarcity of funds. The cadres who had surrendered or were arrested said lower-level cadres led a miserable life by working as labourers in the betel nut plantation while the top leaders of HNLC led a lavish life in Bangladesh.
The police have also confirmed these reports and said the militant outfit was facing fund constraints.
However, the HNLC’s recent renewal of tie-up with the NCSN (I-M) is a cause of worry for the police.
There are also reports that the HNLC is recruiting more youths from Jaintia Hills to expand its activity in the coal and limestone belts. Though the group had expressed the desire for holding talks with the government, it has not spelt out the modalities for talks.
The HNLC had reiterated in the past that as it had little faith in the state government, the initiative should come from the Centre.
However, unlike HNLC, its counterpart in Garo hills, the ANVC signed a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the government on July 23, 2004. As there was no further notification from the Centre to ban the organization, it now does not come under the purview of unlawful association. The police official said since 2008, the ANVC is not a banned organization as its activities are constantly monitored and found to be satisfactory to the government.
Meghalaya militant chief surrenders
In a major impetus to the peace process in Meghalaya, Liberation Achik Elite Force (LAEF) Chairman Dimrim N Sangma alias Ramen and his aides surrendered before police, a police official said today.
Four of his close aides--Sergeants Rakshimbirth Sangma alias Rakrik and Ninja G Momin alias Kakim, Lance Corporal Akash G Momin alias Bamrik and Private soldier Tangrik Sangma alias Gilmat--also surrendered along with him yesterday at Williamnagar, East Garo Hills District, Superintendent of Police, S Nongtynger said.
The militants surrendered one 7.65 mm pistol with 10 rounds of live ammunition, one country-made AK rifle, one grenade, crude bomb, 10 rounds of live MMG ammunition and their demand letters and receipt books.
‘’Their surrender marks the end of LAEF outfit which had unleashed a reign of terror for the last five to six years,’’ Mr Nongtynger said.
The LAEF was formed on August 19, 2003 with an aim to fight for an ‘’independent Garo state’’ or ‘’A’chik state’’ in Meghalaya.
The LAEF had alleged links with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) and United Liberation Front of Asom.

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