Lahkmen Rymbui

Shillong: Meghalaya has witnessed seven IED blasts in the last five years, home minister Lahkmen Rymbui informed the state assembly on Monday.

Rymbui was responding to a question raised by West Shillong MLA Mohendro Rapsang during the Budget Session.

On January 30, 2022, a blast occurred at the entrance of the new extension building of Centre Point Estate at Khyndailad. On August 10, 2021, a blast occurred in the Laitumkhrah main market.

On July 14, 2021, a blast occurred at the Police Reserve Residential Quarter, Khliehriat, East Jaintia Hills Dist. On December 12, 2020, a blast occurred at the Campus Krishna Colony Lane, Lumshnong in East Jaintia Hills. On November 26, 2020, a blast occurred at the Soo Kilo Market in East Jaintia Hills. On February 18, 2018, a blast occurred at the Sawilgre Village, and on February 1, 2018, at Dawki.

When Rapsang asked the minister how many arrests had been made in the cases, Rymbui said they had arrested people for each of the cases, but since some of the cases are being looked at by the Judicial Commission, he couldn’t divulge further details. Rymbui also refused to divulge details on whether juveniles had been arrested for some of the blasts.

Responding to Rapsang’s question about what measures had the state taken to prevent IED blasts in the future, the home minister said state intelligence had been strengthened along with cybercrime units.

Rymbui also informed the House that the Central government had approved peace talks with the banned militant outfit Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), who have taken responsibility for the IED blasts in most cases.

“Apart from the measures taken by strengthening the department, we are hopeful that the peace talks will resolve the issue and maintain peace and tranquillity in the state,” said Rymbui.

Joining in, East Shillong MLA Ampareen Lyngdoh said that residents of the Laitumkhrah market had still not received pending dues for the damage caused by the blast. “The large scale damage, window panes to a large extent has been broken, and the citizens are awaiting the quick processing of their pending dues for the damage caused due to the blast,” stated Lyngdoh.

Gambegre MLA Saleng Sangma said that in the blast at Sawilgre Village no one claimed responsibility for the blasts. He urged the state government whether they used intelligence from the centre like NIA or CBI to look into this particular incident.

In the Sawilgre Village blast in 2018, four people lost their lives, including a candidate who was contesting elections.

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