SHILLONG: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the central government hereby declares the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association,” said a notification issued by MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg on November 16.
According to the notification, the HNLC has been openly declaring its objective as the secession of the areas in Meghalaya (largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals) from the Indian Union.
The MHA also said that the organisation continued intimidation and bullying of the civilian population for extortion of funds for their organisation and maintained links with other insurgent groups of the North-Eastern region for carrying out acts of extortion and intimidation.
While notifying the ban on HNLC, the MHA further stated that the organisation maintained camps in Bangladesh for the purpose of sanctuary and training of their cadres.
It said that Central Government is also of the opinion that the unlawful and violent activities which are attributed to HNLC include – four incidents of violence involving killing of one civilian, during the period from 1st January, 2015 to 31st July, 2019, arrest of sixteen of its cadres during the said period, recovery of four weapons during the said period, surrender of fourteen of its cadres during the said period, four persons have been kidnapped during the above said period.
The Central Government is also of the opinion that the aforesaid activities of the HNLC are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India and if these are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC would regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadres, procure sophisticated weapons, cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces and accelerate its anti-national activities.
“The Central Government having regard to the activities of HNLC…and to meet the violent activities committed by HNLC in the past, is of the opinion that circumstances exist which render it necessary to declare the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organizations to be an unlawful association with immediate effect and accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the said Act, hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette,” the notification stated.