Seven overground members in police custody

Shillong, Jan. 25: Police last night arrested seven suspected overground workers of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) from different localities here.

Last evening, a special operations team arrested one HNLC linkman identified as Manbhalang Jyrwa alias Man after receiving a tip-off that he was operating from the Nongrim Hills locality here.

"He (Jyrwa) is involved with the publicity wing of the HNLC and is a confidant of the outfit's publicity secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw," East Khasi Hills superintendent of police M.H. Kharkrang told reporters today.

Kharkrang said Jyrwa was responsible for editing and publishing articles and propaganda material of the outfit on Facebook.

"The arrested person was also tasked with the job of bringing out as many articles as possible to indicate that the outfit was very much alive and aware of the daily events in Khasi and Jaintia Hills," he said.

Jyrwa acted both as adviser and linkman for the HNLC by giving inputs on all activities in the state, he said, adding that the apprehended person had been working for the outfit for the past one year.

All articles sent by Nongtraw were vetted and edited by Jyrwa, Kharkrang said, adding that last year, he, along with other top rung HNLC leaders, tried to bring out a souvenir and stickers of the outfit but could not succeed.

Interestingly, Kharkrang said Jyrwa's real name was Sulfiyan Ali Hazarika. He, however, added that the police were not drawing any conclusion from the name until a thorough investigation and interrogation was done. "We are surprised how he got the name Manbhalang Jyrwa when both his parents are non-Khasis. We are trying to check that out," he said.

A case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act has been registered against the accused.

The police also arrested six other overground workers, including a woman, from different localities here. They have been identified as Bakmenlang Kharpuri of Mawkhar Block 6, Goldy Khongwir, Lawanbiang Dohkrut and Jolene Hazel Khongwir of Wah-ingdoh Rai Mohan Lane, Stadpyrkhat Langstieh of Lum-shyiap, Golflinks and Phaiborlang Donshiew of Sngithiang, Mawprem. They have been accused of facilitating the HNLC and enabling its cadres to open fire at the Lumdiengjri police station on July 2, 2012, and the attempted HNLC flag-hoisting at Student's Field, Jaiaw on November 5, 2012.

"It is established that they are overground workers of the HNLC and are directly involved in the hoisting of the HNLC flag," Kharkrang said.

Stating that those arrested were young people, Khark-rang appealed to youths not to be swayed by any form of enticement from the HNLC. The arrested have been remanded in 10 days' police custody.

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