Liberation outfit HNLC set peace talks with amnesty condition

Liberation outfit HNLC set peace talks with amnesty condition

Shillong: Meghalaya-based liberation outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has set ‘amnesty’ as a condition for resumption of tripartite peace talks with the union and the state governments.

Informing this, HNLC interlocutor, Sadon Blah, said that the peace talks can resume if the central and the Meghalaya governments are ready to reconsider ‘amnesty’ for the outfit’s leaders.

Sadon Blah mentioned that the government should not adhere strictly to a ‘legal’ process but rather adopt a ‘political’ approach if they wish for the peace process to move forward.

HNLC’s demands included lifting of the ban on the outfit under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the withdrawal of all pending cases against its members.

They also demanded the release of jailed HNLC members and individuals suspected of association as well as the dropping of charges against all its leaders.

However, the most important demand put forward was granting general amnesty.

The group claimed that despite repeated efforts to highlight their demands, the government has shown little flexibility or willingness to engage constructively.

It may further be mentioned that recently, summons were sent to top HNLC leaders, including Bobby Marwein, Marius Rynjah, and Sainkupar Nongtraw, by the NIA court and the Shillong Judicial Magistrate Court.

Earlier, Meghalaya cabinet minister Paul Lyngdoh had stated that the demand for amnesty by the HNLC for its leaders is under “serious consideration” and is likely to be granted.

The banned Meghalaya-based outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) pulled out of the peace talks with the central and Meghalaya government.

“We deeply regret to inform you that we are reluctantly withdrawing from the peace talks with your government,” HNLC chairman-cum C-in-C, Bobby Marweiñ and general secretary, Saiñkupar Nongtraw stated in a letter to the ministry of home affairs (MHA).

The letter, dated December 31, 2023, was sent to the MHA through AK Mishra, advisor of the MHA for Northeast.

The HNLC said that the decision to pull out of the peace talks was taken by the outfit “due to the unfortunate circumstances that our general demands have not been met”.

“We have concerns that if these fundamental issues remain unaddressed, our political demands will also be dismissed,” the HNLC leaders stated.

“We feel compelled to persist in our armed struggle,” the Meghalaya-based banned outfit stated.

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