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Big catch for Meghalaya Police
Meghalaya Police has busted the rebel camp of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council and National Liberation Front of Tripura in Wahlymbong, Jaintia Hills, killing two hardcore rebels and arresting six others.
MEGHALAYA POLICE has busted the rebel camp of Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) in Wahlymbong, Jaintia Hills, killing two hardcore rebels and arresting six others. The prize catch is camp commander of Chittagoan, Riskin Phawa – the most wanted militant, who is believed to be involved in the mobilisation of cadres and serving demand notes.
The operation led by SSP Special Branch, Claudia Lyngwa along with special operation team (SOT) began on March 26, from Jowai. The officer with her team managed to arrest two cadres at Malidor – Manuel Umthru and Wilinda Margor, near Ratachera about 70 kilometres from Jowai.
Based on the information of the arrested militant, the team proceeded to Umkiang Pahar junction to intercept two hardcore militants coming from Bangladesh. The police got their prize catch; the most wanted militant - Riskin Phawa along with Hyrpailin Mawlong.
Then the police moved to Umkiang Pahar, where they picked up two more militant Aibor Sawain and Chedrack Waniang. They led the police to the camp at the hilltop of Wahlymbong, where the encounter took place on March 27. In the encounter two hardcore HNLC militant were killed and three members of the NLFT escaped. Those killed are Vicky Majaw, commander of Jaintia Hills and Leader.
Taking on odd situation – rough terrain, slush - the police walked for six hours to carry on their operation. The police believe that this will stop the activities of the outfit, which includes extortion in the coal belt areas and serving demand notes to businessman.
Four SBBL shot guns, two AK-56 assault rifles and 33 rounds of live ammunition, a country-made .22 revolver, two Chinese-made hand grenades and two sets of Japanese-made wireless handsets, three torches, a mobile handset and two authorisation letters for extortion were recovered from the site of the encounter.
Riskin Phawa, a Bangladeshi Khasi from Noonsera was highly wanted by the police since 2000. He is believed to be a courier, guide and a main link to mobilise HNLC cadres. Police say that he was coming to India to carry on the extortion drive in the coal belt areas of Jaintia Hills. The police term it a great success as they have managed to cut the spinal cord between the two countries.
Phawa, however, denies that he is a hardcore militant. He was just helping the HNLC to show route into Bangladesh.
The HNLC is a product of a1992, split in the Hynniewtrep Achik Liberation Council (HALC), the first militant tribal outfit in Meghalaya. The HNLC was proscribed on November 16, 2000. An important objective of the HNLC is to transform Meghalaya as a province exclusively for the Khasi tribe and free it from ‘domination’ by the Garo tribe.
The strength of the outfit has reduced in numbers over the years with many cadres surrendering before the police. In 2007, its chairman Julius Dorphang has surrendered. The commander in chief Bobby Marwein and general secretary Cheristerfield Thangkhiew are in Bangladesh and the BSF are mounting pressure on the Bangladesh Rifle (BDR) to bring these two top leaders in the negotiation table.
The HNLC is closely linked with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Issak Muivah (NSCN-IM). HNLC’s nexus with the Tripura based NLFT. The HNLC also has a front organisation called the HSDF (Hynniewtrep State Democratic Front), who is ‘commander-in-chief’ Dominic Kharpuli and three other cadres were arrested on October 20, 2001.
HNLC promotes the circulation of fake currency in the state, at the behest of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s external intelligence agency.
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