Shillong: While questions have been raised on the failure of intelligence in the state following the IED explosion at Khliehriat in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, chief minister Conrad K Sangma said that the intelligence network in the region will be strengthened to deter such incidents in the future.

Addressing the media on Friday, Sangma said that it is impossible to keep an eye on every individual trying to create problems in the state.

Sangma, however, said that the intelligence network in the region will be strengthened to ensure that such incidents don’t take place in the future. “We are trying to neutralise anybody who tries to disturb the law and order situation in the state,” said Sangma.

The chief minister said that the entire police team, including the district superintendent of police (SP), is working efficiently and they keep gathering all the necessary intelligence.

Sangma also said that the two persons arrested over the incident are over-ground workers of the banned outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and further investigation is on.

Denying any intelligence failure, home minister Lahkmen Rymbui, too, said that the intel wing of the government is still very strong and that was the reason why the suspects could be identified within within 24 hours of the blast.

Lauding the police for acting swiftly, Rymbui said that as soon as the incident happened, the police acted swiftly and the bomb squad rushed to the spot to confirm the nature of the bomb.

“The crime scene unit also was rushed for necessary action. On the same day after the registering a case, the police caught hold of one of the suspects. During the course of investigation, the police arrested another suspect. The investigation is going on and I hope the police will be able to solve it at the earliest,” said Rymbui.

He added that they are handling this matter judiciously and don’t want to deliberate much at this juncture. “There are several developments taking place as we speak,” said Rymbui.

On July 14, an IED explosion occurred at one of the police reserves at Khliehriat in East Jaintia Hills district. One person was present in the quarters when it came under attack. Howeveer, there was no loss of life or injuries, but the explosion led to a loss of property, the police had said.

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Incidentally, this was not the first instance of an IED explosion reported in the district.

On December 13, 2020, two persons were injured after an IED exploded at Star Cement in East Jaintia Hills district. Banned outfit HNLC had claimed responsibility for the incident then, saying that the blast was as a result of the owner of the factory refusing to pay “tax”.

On November 27, 2020, another low-intensity IED blast occurred at Soo Kilo under Sutnga Elaka in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills (EJH) district. Again, the HNLC claimed responsibility for the incident.

HNLC general secretary Saiñkupar Nongtraw had said that they planted the IED at Soo Kilo as the area serves as a hotbed for outsiders to carry out illegal business activities.

“This area is famous for prostitution, gambling, and many other anti-social activities. The market functions as a coal depot and everything takes place with the cooperation of the police as they get their timely shares from the proceedings,” Nongtraw had said then.

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