KHNAM denies links with militant outfit, demands probe into shootout

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Shillong, Nov 10: The Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) has denied any links with the proscribed militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) in Meghalaya.

Constitutional head of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council H S Shylla had alleged that the KHNAM, an ally of the ruling Congress-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, had links with the tribal Khasi militant outfit.

''The KHNAM has no links with the banned HNLC or any other proscribed organisation. The KHNAM is a political organisation and many persons are a part of it. It is humanly impossible to ascertain the antecedents of each and every member of the party,'' State Urban Affairs Minister and KHNAM supremo Paul Lyngdoh told reporters here on Nov 9.

Refuting Mr Shylla's accusations, the KHNAM, with two members in the 60-member House, said the allegations levelled by Mr Shylla were politically motivated and he never bothered to ascertain the true stand of the KHNAM.

State Director General of Police (DGP) B K Dey Sawian, who came out in support of Mr Shylla, told newspersons that the state police had enough evidence of the alleged nexus between the Khasi Students' Union (KSU) and the HNLC.

Countering the DGP's allegations, Mr Lyngdoh said the allegations levelled by the DGP against certain members (former members of the KSU) of the KHNAM were ''old cases related to incidents before the creation of the KHNAM.'' ''The DGP's allegations have come immediately after the charges levelled by Mr Shylla, which raise the strong suspicion of a political conspiracy aimed at maligning the KHNAM,'' the former leader stated.

The KHNAM, formed in 2002, is the political wing of the KSU. Mr Paul Lyngdoh, who founded the political party, was the former KSU president.

He said the KHNAM was formed to cater to the aspirations of the youths and the Hynniewtrep people so that they would not turn to illegal, criminal and unconstitutional means to achieve rectification of real or even perceived grievances.

Meanwhile, the KHNAM demanded a thorough and detailed impartial enquiry by a judge of Gauhati High Court into the October 30 shootout incident, wherein five HNLC cadres, including senior KHNAM member Maycome More Rynthathiang, were allegedly shot in a police encounter.

UNI

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