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Tripartite Talks Held With M'laya Terror Outfit

Sadon K. Blah who was appointed by the HNLC as its interlocutor in March, said that five members of the rebel group came to Meghalaya from their camps in Bangladesh

Tripartite Talks Held With Mlaya Terror Outfit

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 Sep 2022 5:33 AM GMT

SHILLONG: Tripartite talks were held between the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), and the Meghalaya and Central governments to take forward the dialogue with the outlawed militant outfit, peace process interlocutor Sadon K. Blah said on Sunday.

Blah, who was appointed by the HNLC as its interlocutor in March, said that five members of the rebel group came to Meghalaya from their camps in Bangladesh and after the talks, returned to the neighbouring country on Friday.

Terming the talk as "positive", he said that HNLC members have gone back to Bangladesh to apprise the central executive committee members and general council of the outfit on the outcome of peace talks and to take a strategy and finalise issues before the second round of talks. Officials of the Union Home Ministry, the Meghalaya government and state government appointed interlocutor, retired IAS officer, Peter S. Dkhar were present in the talks with HNLC's vice-chairman Manbhalang Jyrwa, Political Secretary Aristerwell Thongni, Foreign Secretary Phrangkupar Diengdoh and two other members – Aiborlem Marbaniang and Storgy Lyngdoh.

Blah said that the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency against four HNLC cadres would not disturb the ongoing peace talks. The NIA recently filed charge sheet against four, including its Chairman-cum-Commander-in-Chief Bobby Marwein in connection with the bomb blast at the staff quarters of Star Cement Factory Colony Lane in East Jaintia Hills on December 12, 2020.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma, who facilitated the peace process with the HNLC, had also said that the charge sheet would not upset the ongoing peace process. The latest development has taken place after the government had in July allowed 'safe passage', facilitating the leaders of the Khasi insurgent outfit to come to the negotiating process. Following the HNLC's offer to hold peace talks without any preconditions, the Centre had given its nod to the peace process leading to the Meghalaya government initiating formal talks with the outfit earlier this year.

The state government also appointed Dkhar, who has vast knowledge of ethnic issues of Meghalaya, and is a former Deputy Commissioner of East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts, as interlocutor. Retired IPS officer AK Mishra, who is the advisor of the Union Home Ministry, will coordinate between the Centre and the state government on the talks with the HNLC.

Sangma earlier held a meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi and discussed the peace proposal by the HNLC. While militancy is on the decline in Meghalaya over the last several years, but since 2020, the HNLC has been behind a few low-intensity IED blasts in the state. The HNLC, which has been demanding a sovereign Khasi tribal homeland in Meghalaya, is a breakaway faction of the Hynniewtrep Achik Liberation Council, the first tribal militant outfit of the mountainous state, formed in the mid-1980s. (IANS)

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