Shillong, Dec 13: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has claimed responsibility for planting an IED blast at a cement factory in East Jaintia Hills district.
“The outfit is once again claiming responsibility for the blast of an IED time bomb at the staff quarter of Star cement,” HNLC general secretary cum publicity secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a statement issued on Sunday.
The incident had taken place on Saturday night in which one person was reportedly injured.
Nongtraw said that the reason for the blast was due to the failure of the factory owner to pay a tax put forth by the organization.
“Any factory or non-tribal traders have to pay tax to the HNLC failing which they will meet the same fate like Star cement,” he said.
Alleging that the existence of factories has failed to bring any benefit to the local people, Nongtraw slammed the factories for employing people from outside the state whereas locals are left without jobs.
“They do not buy even the coal that is being produced in the state and instead they are buying from outside the state. But if they do also, they suppress the price,” he said.
The HNLC also criticized the state government for not being able to run the Mawmluh Cherra Cement Limited (MCCL).
“The employees of the MCCL have to come to the streets along with tears to demand for their salary due to weakness of the government whereas several private-owned cement factories from outside the state function well and sell per bag of cement at an exorbitant price,” Nongtraw said.
Meanwhile, the HNLC said that it would be a meaningless attempt for the state government to urge the outfit to shun the path of violence.
“For several years the outfit has shown restrain and patience and avoided dreadful activities for want of peace, but then the HNLC is being looked down by the government”
Nongtraw said that the outfit would continue its reign of terror until and unless an agreement is reached. According to him, since there is no agreement, the HNLC has not violated any agreement.
Meanwhile, East Jaintia Hills police registered a case following an explosion at Star Cement factory premises as a team from Shillong visited the site on Sunday. The team collected the evidence along with the OC of Lumshnong PS.
Superintendent of Police East Jaintia Hills District, Deepak Kumar Palecha said that Police is still investigating to ascertain the exact cause of the explosion as he maintained that the improvised explosive device (IED) was not used for the explosion.
“Saturday night I got information from Start cement that some explosion took place then I along with my team rush to the spot and yes there was an explosion and it was not an IED because we could not find any digital evidence,” Palecha said.
“A team from the Shillong along with bomb disposal team, the dog squad and all came and they collected the evidence along with the OC of Lumshnong Ps and a case is already been registered under explosive substance act,” the SP said.
In the blast, two people sustain a minor injury as the matter is under investigation.