NLCN terrorist outfit used Facebook to lure potential members, says Meghalaya CM

Shillong, Sep 22 (UNI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Friday said a self-styled Chairman of a nascent National Liberation Council of Nongkyndong (NLCN) terrorist outfit, which was nipped in the bud by security forces, had used Facebook to lure potential members.

Replying to a Calling Attention Notice tabled by Nongpoh legislator Mayralborn Syiem on the last day of the Autumn Session of the state Assembly, Sangma narrated the sequence of events related to the formation of NLCN.

Sangma said that on August 16, 2023, a written First Information Report (FIR) was received to the effect that a new militant/terrorist outfit named as National Liberation Council of Nongkyndong was being formed with the intention to wage war against the State and to commit unlawful terrorist activities like procuring arms and ammunition, extortion, recruiting armed cadres, training and establishing of camps.

A Crime Branch Police Station Case No. 02(08)2023 Under Section 120B/121/121A/122 Indian Penal Code, read with Section 10/13/16/17/18/18A/18B of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, was registered and being investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Eastern Range), Meghalaya, Shillong.

During the course of investigation, Sangma said one Child in Conflict With Law (CICL) and 10 persons were arrested along with seizure of electronic and documentary evidences in connection with the case.

“The arrested accused persons were thoroughly interrogated and they submitted that the formation of the NLCN is factual and designations such as Chairman, Commander-in-Chief, Acting General Secretary/Finance Secretary, Area Commander (East Jaintia Hills / West Jaintia Hills/ Ri War Area / West Khasi Hills) and members have already been assigned to the members of the outfit,” the Chief Minister said.

During the investigation, Sangma said the self-styled Chairman of NLCN (CICL) informed that he coined the name ‘National Liberation Council of Nongkyndong’, which was taken from the terrorist outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), and the word ‘Nongkyndong’ (implying rural areas) was specifically incorporated to highlight, the lack of security and development activities in the villages, especially the border areas.

“As per the investigation reports, the self- styled Chairman of NLCN claimed to have launched the outfit on September 15, 2022, but due to lack of support and financial constraints, he decided to call off the plan. However, in the years that followed, the interest of protecting the welfare of the people belonging to Hynniewtrep was reignited, which culminated in the self-styled Chairman forming NLCN in the early part of 2023, by initiating recruitment of members through online social media platforms,” Sangma informed.

He said the self-styled Chairman of NLCN had created multiple Facebook Accounts to lure potential members by displaying the profile picture of the accounts with that of HNLC flag, and after befriending several Facebook users, he started conversing with them through the multiple Facebook Accounts.

Through these different Facebook accounts, the self-styled Chairman enticed several Facebook users who he had befriended, by presenting the idea about NLCN, including the concept of demanding for a separate Hynniewtrep State and the aim of enhancing the welfare of the people belonging to Hynniewtrep.

Moreover, the self-styled Chairman of NLCN managed to convince probable members to be part of NLCN and assured them the prospect of training, procurement of arms and ammunition, extortion and recruitment of armed cadres.

“The members were also intimated by the self-styled Chairman, that he was in touch with one of the members of a militant outfit from the Northeast of India and has entered into discussion regarding various agenda, such as procurement of arms, ammunition and imparting of training to members of NLCN,” the Chief Minister informed.

In return, the members of NLCN will have to provide shelter in Khasi and Jaintia Hills region of the State to the members of the militant outfit from the Northeast.

It was also revealed by the self-styled Chairman that the internal strife in Manipur and the inconveniences between the different militant factions derailed the procurement of arms and ammunition as well as the conduct of training.

“Therefore, he along with the members devised a plan to commit extortion, and trigger bomb blasts, which will help announce the formation of NLCN and at the same time create fear among the general public,” he informed.

The other members who have been arrested in connection with this case have also affirmed the revelations made by the self-styled Chairman of NLCN and the intention of floating the militant outfit. However, due to timely intervention of Meghalaya police, their plan to engage in terrorist activities was thwarted at the inception stage, he added.

However, he said the investigation of the case was still ensuing, and all efforts are being put into unearthing the entire conspiracy and to bring the case to a logical conclusion.

The chief minister took the opportunity to appeal to the people of the State that resorting to terrorist or violent activities will not bring any solution to the problem but rather will amplify the situation.

“Disagreement or dissent should be settled through the redressal mechanisms which have been established by the Government of the day and not by indulging in violence or terrorist activities,” he said.

Leave a Reply