Shillong, Nov 20 (UNI) Meghalaya police have set up a special team of detectives to unearth the nexus between the proscribed militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and ''teer'' bookies.
Teer or archery is a legalised form of gambling in Meghalaya.
''Investigations are on to uncover whether the HNLC coffer is being filled up by teer money,'' East Khasi Hills District Superintendent of Police A R Mawthoh told UNI here today.
The Meghalaya government legalised teer mainly because of its revenue generating potential. At least 600 counters have been set up in several areas of the state capital alone where people can place bets.
Teer bookies said this form of gambling business runs into crores, with the unlicensed teer bookies from other states region also booking numbers.
The state police initiated fresh investigation into the matter after the recent shootout between police-HNLC in which five militants were killed. One of the HNLC members, Manbha Rynjah, who died in the encounter, was a teer bookie and a government contractor.
''Preliminary investigations indicate that Rynjah was involved in negotiating payment deals with teer bookies and contractors. He had links with contractors of the central and state public works departments,'' the police official said.
Police officials said the police already have proof of telephone calls made by Bangladesh-based HNLC leaders to teer bookies in Shillong.
The Meghalaya police had uncovered the HNLC's links with teer bookies in 2003 and arrested the then vice-president and the general secretary of the Meghalaya Archery Sports Association, which controls teer operations in the state, for allegedly contributing to the HNLC coffers.
The duo, Ritsing Khongsngi and Herbok Laloo, were booked under the Meghalaya Preventive Detention Act.