Meghalaya: Groups making fast buck from militancy

Last Updated: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 11:44

Shillong: In a disturbing trend for Meghalaya police, small militant groups have been in
existence for making a fast buck.

"These groups primarily are designed to earn money...they have no ideology. They are basically for extortion and making a quick buck without doing any work," Union Home
secretary GK Pillai told a news agency here recently.

He said the state government has to put down this very quickly so that "they don’t become any nuisance and hamper the development work."

Meghalaya DGP SB Kakati also said "It is a money-making game and nothing else."

The outfits have issued some statements in the media saying they were formed to protect the `indigenous tribes`, an objective ridiculed by the police department.

Since January this year, two outfits have been neutralized, police sources said.

Five key members, including the selfstyled c-in-c and chairman, of the newly floated Hynniewtrep Liberation Front (HLF) were caught in a series of operations in and around
Shillong in January.

Letter heads, seals and documents for issuing extortion notes were aeized from them.

The sources said the NSCN-IM had floated the group primarily to extort money in the state.

A deserter police officer also floated a `militant group`, named Garo National Liberation Army, which is involved in extortion in the coal-belt areas of the Garo hills region.

Petrol depot owners, including a former inspector general of police, have been slapped demands of Rs 30 lakh each by the nascent militant group.

The self-styled general secretary of the outfit and a couple of cadres have been nabbed by police and hunt is on to trace the others, the sources said.

Besides the once-powerful proscribed group Hynniewtrep
National Liberation Council (HNLC) and the banned Achik
National Volunteer Council which is now in ceasefire, there is
also the Liberation Achik Elite Force, which is dormant now.


First Published: Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 11:44

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