SHILLONG, Oct 19 - A top militant owing allegiance to the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Chesterfield Thangkhiew, surrendered before the police at the police headquarters here on Thursday.
Thangkhiew was the general secretary of the HNLC and according to the police, he was holed up in Bangladesh for several years. He carried out operations from the foreign soil.
However, the police said that his family members, police and political leaders were trying to persuade him to give up arms and join the mainstream and after years of efforts, Thangkhiew finally came overground.
He surrendered before Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Thursday after arriving at the State capital from Bangladesh through Dawki.
�I have been telling the members that I would retire from the organisation. There was no enmity or differences within the organisation,� he said.
This is the second biggest blow for the HNLC after its self-styled chairman, Julius Dorphang, surrendered before Chief Minister DD Lapang on July 24, 2008 and later joined politics only to be arrested on January 7, 2017 and put behind bars for allegedly raping a minor.
Apart from Dorphang, Thangkhiew was one of the founding members of the HNLC. Along with HNLC �Commander-in-Chief� Bobby Marwein, Dilash Marak and Jerome Cherian Momin of the (now disbanded) A�chik Liberation Matgrik Army and two National Socialist Council of Nagalim-Isak Muivah militants escaped from the Shillong Jail in 1995.
The HNLC is now left with only its C-in-C, who is also holed up in Bangladesh.