SHILLONG, Dec 14 - Home Minister Lakhmen Rymbui today refuted �intelligence failure� in preventing two low-intensity bomb blasts in East Jaintia Hills district in the past one month.
�It�s not an intelligence failure of the State Police,� Rymbui said. The Home Minister said that the State police and also other Central organisations are working to nab the �criminal� elements responsible for the blast.
The banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant outfit has claimed responsibility for both the bomb blasts in the district. The organisation has released a statement to the media stating that the blast was carried out as the cement plant has failed to �pay taxes� to the outfit.
Rymbui, however, said that the police have not been able to identify those responsible for the bomb blasts and would not be able to confirm whether the HNLC was behind the two blasts.
�We don�t know whether it was the HNLC and so can�t comment on the veracity of the claim by the outfit. We are looking into possible leads to deter such activities. These actions were illegally carried out by criminals,� the Home Minister said.
About the HNLC, the Home Minister said that no organisation has the authority to levy taxes on the citizens of the country unless it has the approval of the prevalent law of the land.
He said if any organisation tries to levy illegal taxes, the police would prevent such activity. �It�s the duty of the state to prevent such activities,� Rymbui added.
He said that HNLC was once again banned in November 2019, but the government is still open for talks and there are various channels, both formal and informal, which could be accessed.
However, the Home Minister warned that if HNLC is trying to make it relevant through such violent activities, then the State police together with the Central agencies are geared up.
�We will not lower our guard if we say we want to talk, while the door is open,� Rymbui added.