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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

HNYF leader arrested for allegedly extorting money from trucks plying the Umiam Bridge

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Shillong: The East Khasi Hills Police on Monday afternoon apprehended Bless Dkhar, the president of Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), on allegations of extorting money from overloaded goods carrier trucks operating between Damsite and Umiam bridge.

Dkhar stands accused of demanding ₹1500 per truck crossing the Damsite-Umiam bridge.

Confirming the arrest, Superintendent of Police (City) for East Khasi Hills, Vivek Syiem, stated that Bless Dkhar was apprehended in the Pohkseh area on Monday by personnel from the Laitumkhrah Police Station.

Reports indicate that the Laitumkhrah Police Station initiated a Suo-Moto case against the HNYF East Khasi Hills president following the circulation of a voice recording online. The recording captured Dkhar’s involvement in the alleged extortion scheme.

In the recording, Dkhar can be heard in conversation with an individual identified as a ‘trader’, the two were heard negotiating terms to allow the trader’s truck to pass through Damsite-Umiam Bridge.

The recording suggests that Dkhar was negotiating prices per truck, whether they were private vehicles or belonging to the Food Corporation of India (FCI), to cross Umiam Bridge.

It may be noted, the Meghalaya High Court on March 2022 has directed the authorities concerned to bar heavy vehicles weighing over 10 metric tonnes from plying on Umiam bridge.

The two-member bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W Diengdoh, while hearing a PIL, said the existing bridge on Umiam Dam may not be able to bear the present traffic load.

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