Meghalaya launches flush-out operations in coal-belt areas

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Shillong, Dec 6 (UNI) Meghalaya police has launched flush-out operations against the banned HNLC in coal-belt areas in West Khasi Hills.

West Khasi Hills Superintendent of Police H Kharkrag told UNI today that the government has also warned severe actions against the coal exporters comply to militant's extortion demands.

The HNLC had reportedly served extortion notices to coal exporters and truck-owners.

''The outfit demands Rs five lakh from coal exporters, who own trucks numbering ten or more than that. Those having five and more than five trucks are asked to pay money between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs three,'' intelligence sources said.

Borsora, about 200 km from the state capital, is the second coal trading point between India and Bangladesh.

''We have launched our flush-out operations in certain areas, besides keeping a strict vigil on coal exporters,'' Mr Kharkrang said.

The coffers of both the militant outfits have almost dried up and they are trying to replenish it by extorting money from the coal exporters, he said.

Earlier, the state police have arrested a number of coal-exporters for allegedly complying to HNLC extortion diktats.

Police officials said the HNLC is using women as agents to extort money from places where the finance wing of the organisation fails to penetrate.

''Even after the arrest of a few women who worked for the HNLC in the past, some women are still helping the outfit in collecting money in Shillong and Dawki in Jaintia Hills,'' police officials said.

In the coal-belt areas of Garo Hills, the state police also intensified operations against the two militant outfits Liberation A'chik Elite Force (LEAF) and A'chik National Liberation Front (ANLF) have served extortion notices to coal exporters to Bangladesh.


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