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Top HNLC leaders should attend talks: Meghalaya Govt

First Published: 15th November, 2023 14:24 IST

The Meghalaya govt has said that it is firm and determined to continue the talks but top leaders of the outfit has to be present to talk and help the

Reiterating its stand to continue the peace talks with banned militant outfit of Meghalaya, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong has urged the top rung leaders of the organisation to be present in the talks.

“From state and the central government we are very firm and determined to continue the talks with HNLC and we are waiting now for the communication from their side. Since their top leaders still could not participate in the meeting so we have sent back the members of the HNLC with the request that when they (the top leaders) are ready, please let us know. State government and Central government are open and we are waiting,” Deputy Chief Minister Tynsong said speaking to media persons in Shillong.

“Right now the talks officially have started only once, that too with second and third rung leaders. We requested that in the second and third round talks, top ranking leaders would be there. Whatever issues you (HNLC) have, sit down across the table then we will come out with any kind of solution for whatever issues are there,” the DCM further said.

During the first tripartite talks held in Umiam between the Centre, state and HNLC in June this year, the militant outfit responsible for several armed attacks, IED blasts, abduction, arms and cattle smuggling and killing of civilians have requested for amnesty for all its cadres.

It has also been accused of circulating fake currency in the state, supported by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan.

The outfit claims to represent the Khasi-Jaintia tribal people, and its aim is to free Meghalaya from the alleged domination of outsiders. It was proscribed on 16 November 2000, but the ban was later lifted. It was banned again in 2019. HNLC primarily operates in the Khasi Hills region and has carried out a number of terror activities in Shillong.

Some of its camps were located in Bangladesh, mostly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts with the top HNLC leadership being based in Dhaka.

HNLC has claimed that it has tried to help the Khasi people and to make society better. It launched Operation Kyllang (hurricane) to publicly punish rapists by torturing them and claimed to have reduced crime in the Khasi Hills.

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