New Delhi: In another significant development, the Central government on Monday declared the Meghalaya-based insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as an unlawful association. The Centre has also banned this insurgent group for its increased activities of violence and other subversive acts.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday issued a notification in this regard and said the HNLC along with all its factions, wings and frontal organisations has been openly declaring as its objective the secession of the state’s areas, which are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals, from the Indian Union.

Saying that the HNLC’s activities are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, the MHA said that the group continues to intimidate and bully civilians to extort funds, maintains links with other insurgent groups of the Northeast to carry out acts of extortion and intimidation.

“If these are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC will regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadre base, procure sophisticated weapons, cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces, and accelerate its anti-national activities,” the MHA said in the notification.

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the central government hereby declares the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful association,” the notification further added.

The MHA earlier had declared the HNLC a banned organisation on November 16, 2000, but later lifted it for some reason not yet known.

Listing its violent activities, the MHA said the violence perpetrated by the HNLC in recent past include four incidents involving killing of one civilian, during the period from January 1, 2015, to July 31, 2019, arrest of 16 of its cadres, recovery of four weapons, surrender of 14 of its cadres and kidnapping of four persons.

(With inputs from PTI)