HNLC and NLFT camp busted, two killed and six arrested

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Jowai, Meghalaya, Mar 28 (UNI) Two Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militants were killed and six arrested during the past 24 hours in Meghalaya, even as the Special Operation Team (SOT) busted a joint camp of HNLC and NLFT at Jaintia Hills district, bordering Assam, a senior police official said today.

The SOT also seized four muzzled loaded guns, two AK-56 rifles, one country-made revolver, two high frequency wireless sets, huge cache of live ammunition and incriminating documents.

The joint camp at Wahlymbong, bordering Assam, was busted after the state police with the SOT arrested six HNLC cadres from different locations in coal-rich Jaintia Hills district.

It was a successful operation after six HNLC ultras were arrested and two killed in an encounter at the camp, Superintendent of Police C A Lyngwa told reporters here.

She, however, said three NLFT militants escaped, but one was severely injured during the encounter.

Ms Lyngwa said the arrest of HNLC 'area commander' of Chittagong Hill Tract in Bangladesh Syrpalin Mawlong alias Bhalang and Riskin Phawa helped police gather information about the HNLC links with the NLFT and other militant groups in Bangladesh.

'' We are yet to glean information from them, but the arrest of Bhalang and Phawa would boost police, '' she asserted.

The outlawed HNLC and NLFT, fighting for a ''sovereign independent state'' for the Hynniewtrep people in Meghalaya and the Tripuri people in Tripura respectively, had been operating in Jaintia Hills for the past two months with the intention to extort funds from coal and limestone barons.

The Jaintia Hills district possess a large deposit of coal and limestone as well as rich deposits of other mineral resources.

The coal and limestone mines are owned by local people and exported to Bangladesh and other states in the country.

The district has three cement plants and half a dozen more such plants would be set up soon.

Extortion demands had gone up in the district especially after cement companies decided to set up more new plants, an intelligence official said.

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