Outlawed militant group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Wednesday said that three of its senior members will be participating in the ongoing peace talks with the Centre and the Meghalaya government. In a statement, the HNLC said it was positive about the initiative taken by the Meghalaya government and the Centre.
“For the last few months, the talks have been heading in the right direction due to the cooperation extended by both the state government and the Government of India,” it said. “The decision to send our top leaders to engage in the ongoing peace talks is due to the trust that has been built between the HNLC and the appointed interlocutors AK Mishra, Ministry of Home Affairs (Retd IPS), Peter Dkhar (Retd IAS), our representative Bah Sadon Blah and the HNYF,” it added.
In case the talks fail, the members should return safely to their respective locations as per the discussions held with the government, it said. The three senior members are its vice chairman Manbhalang Jyrwa, political secretary Aristerwell Thongni and ‘foreign secretary’ Phrangkupar Diengdoh.
With the Union Home Ministry giving its approval to the state government to settle the matter under the provisions of Constitution, Meghalaya had on March 10 appointed former IAS officer Peter S Dkhar as its interlocutor to facilitate the talks with the rebel outfit. The Ministry of Home Affairs Adviser (North East) AK Mishra will be overseeing the peace process.
At present, there are over 30 active cadres of the outfit who will be joining the mainstream, according to a senior state Home Department official. He said the state government has also identified a place to rehabilitate the leaders and cadres of the outfit once the formal process is complete.
Since its formation about three decades ago, the outfit has been responsible for armed attacks, IED blasts and other unlawful activities, injuring and killing hundreds of civilians and security personnel in the Khasi-Jaintia Hills region.