Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui promised that the Meghalaya Police will firmly deal with the outlawed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) militant group if it dares to hamper peace and harmony in the state.
Though this represented a hardening of its stance, the government still maintained that peace talks were still on the table if the HNLC would only give up illegal activities.
The HNLC had owned up to improvised explosive device blasts at Soo Kilo on November 26 and at the Star Cement factory in Lumshnong on December 12, both in East Jaiñtia Hills district.
However, Rymbui said, when asked if the militants were responsible for the latter, that police are still investigating.
On threats made by the outfit that it will carry out further attacks, the minister said that the police have several leads and are determined to prevent reoccurrences.
Meanwhile, Rymbui said that police have already identified the persons involved in carrying out an IED blast at a coke kiln in Nonglangpar village, West Khasi Hills, in February.
Yesterday, while claiming responsibility for the Star Cement attack, the HNLC said that it had grown tired of having its peace initiatives ignored by the government.