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Delhi clears air on list of mediators

Tura, March 28: Meghalaya chief minister Mukul Sangma today issued a clarification regarding the list of mediators for peace talks after a statement by the Garo National Liberation Army.

The outfit had yesterday warned the Congress that if the government fails to issue a clarification on the list of mediators recommended to the ministry of home affairs, the outfit will not allow it to campaign in Garo hills.

It had released a statement yesterday, quoting joint secretary (Northeast) in the ministry of home affairs, Shambhu Singh, saying that the Centre has not received the names of any mediators.

Mukul countered the allegation, saying the government never lied and that it had forwarded the names of three persons for the Centre’s approval.

“We have forwarded the names suggested by the outfit to the Centre and are awaiting its approval,” he said.

He added that the government is committed to resolve matters relating to peace talks.

The minister of home affairs today said it had received a list of mediators from the Meghalaya government, confirming the Meghalaya chief minister’s claim.

The director, Northeast, J.P.N. Singh, said the list was received last eve- ning and forwarded by the state government three days ago.

He also clarified that there were a lot of layers that the process goes through and it may have been delayed.

On why Shambhu Singh had said the ministry had not received the list, he said, “There was a slight miscommunication and this is why the statement was made. We assure the Meghalaya government that we have received the list and will work on the same. There should be no confusion in this regard.”

However, the outfit was of the view that the government was deceiving the people of Garo hills by giving false assurances.

The outfit had warned the Congress to not hold any campaign meetings within Garo hills, unless they clarify their stand on the matter.

The political secretary of the outfit, Bikdot Marak, said, “Nobody will be allowed to campaign for the Congress if Mukul Sangma does not issue a clarifi- cation.”

“The direction of the GNLA will remain in force from the date of the release. The area com- manders have been instructed to shoot at legs with three bullets for violation of the circular,” the statement read.


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