Khasi rebel outfit to boycott Meghalaya poll, calls shutdown
Shillong, Feb 19 : Meghalaya's outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) Monday said it was boycotting the Feb 23 assembly elections and called for a 36-hour shutdown ahead of th polling day.
The outfit has unanimously declared to boycott the assembly elections to protest against the Indian political system, HNLC spokesman Sainkupar Nongtraw said.
He said the HNLC has called for a 36-hour shutdown in the entire Hynniewtrep (eastern Meghalaya) from 6 p.m. Feb 22 to 6 a.m. Feb 24.
However, essential service, emergency measures, media and religious activities are exempted from the purview of the shutdown.
The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in eastern Meghalaya.
Meghalaya shares a 443 km-border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
The HNLC also warned that if the union government does not pay heed to its demands, the HNLC will continue to disrupt all elections including the Lok Sabha.
It also demanded that the government must immediately repatriate all foreigners who had been given the "status of refugees" since 1971-72 and send them back to Bangladesh.