Banned militant group HNLC in Meghalaya asks government to withdraw cases before holding peace talks

Meghalaya: Hyniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a banned militant organization in Meghalaya, has said that the president and general secretary of the organization will not join the ongoing peace talks with the central and state governments until all the cases registered against them are withdrawn.

Organization President Bobby Marvin said in a statement issued on Friday (November 17), “The state government emphasizes the participation of the President and the General Secretary. We have clearly said that until all the pending cases against us are withdrawn or a framework agreement for ceasefire is signed, the HNLC president or general secretary cannot participate in the talks.

He said, “We have officially entrusted the task of monitoring the process and assessing its progress to our newly appointed Vice President Temiki Lalu.”

Solution will have to be found through dialogue and diplomatic efforts

The organization said the aim of the peace talks is to find a solution through dialogue and diplomatic efforts but it is suspected that the Center sees it as surrender or disarmament. “We firmly believe that a political solution is necessary for lasting peace,” she said. Therefore, it is important that peace talks do not depend on predetermined conditions.

‘State government waiting for message from HNLC’

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Preston Tynsong had said earlier this week that we are still waiting for the message from HNLC as their top leaders could not attend the last meeting. He said that when you are ready, please let us know.

Officials were appointed last year for tripartite talks

The HNLC leadership had authorized its ‘Vice President’ and ‘Foreign Secretary’ to participate in the tripartite talks between the Centre, the state government and the organization in August last year.

NIA had filed charge sheet in the cement factory complex bomb blast.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a charge sheet in the same month against 4 members of the banned organization for carrying out a bomb blast in the premises of Star Cement Factory located in East Jaintia Hills district in December 2020 due to non-payment of ransom.

Also read: Mob attacks Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma’s office, 5 policemen injured

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