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Govt warms up to HNLC response

Shillong, Aug. 29: The Meghalaya government today announced that it would adopt measures for appointment of an interlocutor for possible peace parleys with the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

Commissioner and secretary (political department) Jopthiaw Lyngdoh, in a statement, said the government appreciated the “positive response” of the HNLC to the call of the government to come overground and avail of the rehabilitation package for all the cadres, which would include counselling, hand-holding, sustainable livelihood, and joining the mainstream.

“The government is now initiating the process for carrying forward this opportunity to its logical conclusion, and measures for appointment of an interlocutor for the purpose will now be taken,” Lyngdoh added.

However, he said the government now expects the HNLC to refrain from any action contrary to the law or any illegal activities and desist from further recruitment in order to create a conducive environment to carry forward the objective of achieving peace and progress in the state.

The response from the government came after the proscribed militant group had indicated that it is ready for unconditional peace talks within or outside the ambit of the Constitution as per requirements.

Besides seeking a bilateral ceasefire, the outfit had also asked the government to appoint an interlocutor.

Three days ago, the HNLC had sent an open invitation to government employees to join the outfit as “part-time workers” while throwing the ball into Mukul Sangma’s court to “give peace a chance”.

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