Police acted on credible info regarding Thangkhiew: Rymbui

Shillong, Sept 14: Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui has stated that credible information revealed the involvement of the former ‘general secretary’ of the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) Cheristerfield Thangkhiew in the IED blast incident at Laitumkhrah.
While replying to a supplementary question raised by the Congress legislator from West Shillong Mohendro Rapsang in the Assembly today, Rymbui said that after the blast incident, the police investigated and the lead indicated that Thangkhiew was involved in the incident.
“We also got credible inputs that more blasts will occur on the intervening night of August 12 and August 15,” he said while adding, “That is why the police had to act so that the necessary security and safety of the citizens of the state could be given”.
Meanwhile, Rapsang also questioned as to why the police had to conduct the raid at 3 AM in the morning to which the Home Minister responded by saying that the police had to act looking at the urgency of the matter and based on the credible information that they had received and so they went as per the appropriate timing.
Further, when Mawlai MLA PT Sawkmie sought to know if the order was to arrest or kill the former militant leader, Rymbui said, “The police do not have the right to kill any person, police job is to prevent a crime, to arrest culprit and gather evidence and produce before the court.”
“But what happened on that intervening morning on August 13, a judicial enquiry was instituted on August 20 and in this probe, all the aspects will be looked into and the government wants to come clear what happened there. So, we will wait for that report,” he added.
“The HNLC has also claimed that they are responsible for the blasts which is also under investigation by the police,” he said.
The Home Minister also informed that Thangkhiew was a ‘retired’ member of the HNLC. When the East Shillong legislator Ampareen Lyngdoh pointed out that as per media reports the former militant leader had surrendered, Rymbui defended by saying, “Thangkhiew had mentioned before the media that he had retired (not surrendered).”
Mawsynram MLA Himalaya M Shangpliang wanted to know if the Home Minister was aware of the operation conducted at the residence of Thangkhiew and the reasons that prevented the government from suspending police officials.
On this, the Home Minister informed that the state government had already instituted a judicial inquiry to probe into the circumstances that led to the death of Thangkhiew.
“The government has instituted the inquiry on August 20 because it wants to come clear (on the incident),” he said while urging the members of the house to wait for the inquiry report.
He however reiterated that the intention of the government was to ensure safety and security of the citizens.