SHILLONG: The People’s Democratic Front (PDF) MLA from Mawkynrew constituency, Banteidor Lyngdoh who is also the State Minister of Agriculture, has said that talks must be initiated to bring over ground the remaining cadres of the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC). He said this while expressing his happiness that senior leader of the HNLC Cheristerfield Thangkhiew has come over ground.
It may be mentioned that Thangkhiew, the self-styled general secretary of the HNLC, who is one of the founding members of the militant outfit surrendered before the Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong last month.
Speaking to The Sentinel, Lyngdoh who was once an HNLC cadre himself in the 1990s said with the coming over a ground of senior leaders of the Council with the objective to lead a new life will only usher in peace and harmony in the state.
“During the continuous fight in the past, there was bloodshed. However, we must welcome peace when it comes and we must have a dialogue with the remaining cadres and leaders of the HNLC who are in Bangladesh. This is important to maintain peace and harmony in the State,” he said.
When asked, if he used to meet Thangkhiew while he was a cadre of the HNLC, Lyngdoh said, “When I used to be a cadre of the HNLC I met him on a number of occasions. But since 1997 when I was arrested I never met him. However, I again met him after he returned to Meghalaya earlier last month.”
On the comments made by the leader of Opposition in the Assembly Mukul Sangma, he said the Opposition is making such comments because when the Congress was in power they were unable to bring Chesterfield Thangkhiew over the ground.
It may be mentioned that Meghalaya Opposition leader Mukul Sangma had asked the ruling National People’s Party (NPP) government and investigating agencies to probe the surrender of Thangkhiew to Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong.