Shillong, Dec 27 (UNI) Heralding the year 2007, Meghalaya achieved a significant breakthrough in curbing the might of militant outfits with the surrender of Julius K Dorphang, Chairman of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) along with his close confidants.
After years of painstaking parleys, Dorphang accepted an offer of safe passage from the State Government and decided to join the mainstream, inflicting a major setback to the tribal Khasi outfit formed in 1988. However the HNLC Chairman and his followers did not deposit any weapons.
Dorphang along with four cadres arrived in Shillong on the night of July 23 by road, crossing the international border via Lyngkhat village in East Khasi Hills District near the Indo-Bangla border under tight police security.
Following Dorphang's joining the national mainstream, the HNLC, which operates from Bangladesh, threatened to assassinate him along with senior surrendered HNLC cadres which resulted in a ghastly shootout in the quite Cleve Colony locality of the city where five died on the spot and a police officer injured.
The HNLC also threatened the constitutional head of Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council Hispreaching Son Shylla for his proactive role in uranium mining in the state besides his rigid stand against militancy.
However, the state police thwarted this attempt, arresting two HNLC cadres, including a woman and her husband.
This year, the HNLC suffered setbacks, which included the arrest of the sister of Cherishsterfield Thangkhiew, 'General Secretary' of the HNLC, and wife and mother of Bobby Marwein, 'Commander-in-Chief'' of the same outfit, by the police, for their involvement in extortion activities.