Shillong: Condemning the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast by the banned militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Tuesday afternoon in Shillong’s Laitumkhrah market, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said that it was an unfortunate incident and none will be spared.

The Meghalaya Cabinet joined the CM in strongly condemning the incident and said strong action will be taken against those responsible for the blast.

Refuting claims of lack of intelligence in the state, Sangma mentioned that after the previous incidents that took place in East Jaintia Hills and other areas the Intelligence Department and the wing of the police department have been working very hard.

“The department has been working aggressively on this blast that took place earlier and in that process, a large number of sleeper cells and people who were involved in these blasts were arrested. Firm action has been taken,” mentioned Sangma.

The chief minister further added that it was because of the hard work of the Intelligence and police department as a whole that all the people involved in the recent blast in Khliehriat have been arrested.

“Indeed this incident is unfortunate but we are sending a very strong message to all those involved in this that none will be spared,” said Sangma.

The chief minister assured that the government will take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of the residents of the state.

Concerning holding peace talks with HNLC, Sangma said that the government is very clear that they (HNLC) should surrender and the government will discuss the matters.

“Whatever discussions we have with them will be based on them moving towards peace. We are ready to discuss with them but don’t want any kind of conditional talks, they must surrender and come forward. The discussion should be within the Constitution of India,” said Sangma.

Following the same trend of claiming responsibility via a Facebook post, HNLC general secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw had claimed responsibility for the IED blast that occurred today. 

While frequent IED blasts have taken place in East Jaintia Hills, today’s blast was the first-ever incident at Laitumkhrah. This incident occurred just four days ahead of Independence day, and has also raised concerns about the security lapse in the state.

Meanwhile, East Khasi Hills District Superintendent of Police (SP) Sylvester Nongtnger has once again decided to not address the press on such a major incident taking place in the capital. Nongtnger had chosen to issue a press statement mentioning the blast.

The SP mentioned that at about 1:30 PM, they received information that a blast took place at Laitumkhrah market near a Tea Shop situated in the Parking Lot.

The Bomb Squad, Crime Scene Unit and Dog Squad were immediately sent to the P.O. for collection of evidence. During the preliminary investigation, it is ascertained that the blast occurred due to I.E.D. In this incident, 2 persons sustained minor injuries. Furthermore, the walls of the Tea Shop and windows of the adjacent building got damaged. In this connection, a case is being registered at Laitumkhrah Police Station, mentioned Nongtnger in the press statement.

The police have urged all citizens not to panic and if found any abandoned or suspected item in the locality, immediately inform the nearest local Police Station or Police Control Room Shillong Contact No. 0364-2222214 / 0364-2222215.



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