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Meghalaya govt initiates talks with a terror outfit in hill state

By IANS

Shillong, March 12: After the Centre's nod, the Meghalaya government has initiated the process to hold formal talks with the banned militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), officials said on Friday.

A senior official of the Meghalaya Home Department said that the state government has appointed retired IAS officer Peter S Dkhar as the interlocutor for facilitating the talks with the HNLC, which also last month offered to hold peace talks with the Centre and the Meghalaya government without any pre-conditions.

With a vast knowledge of ethnic issues of Meghalaya, Dkhar is a former deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts. Retired IPS officer A.K. 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. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma recently held a meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi and discussed the peace proposal by the HNLC.

"The HNLC's proposal to initiate talks with the governments under the parameters of the constitution is a welcome step. They are keen to talk to the government in the interest of peace and development," the Chief Minister had said in a video message.

He added that more positive developments are expected to take place in the next few days.The militant outfit recently in a statement said that the peace initiative was disrupted after last year's killing or the fake encounter of the group's former General Secretary Cherishterfield Thangkhiew.

The HNLC has claimed responsibility for the low-intensity blasts that took place in recent months in the heart of Shillong and other areas in the state. 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.

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Meghalaya govt initiates talks with a terror outfit in hill state

Shillong, March 12: After the Centre's nod, the Meghalaya government has initiated the process to hold formal talks with the banned militant outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), officials said on Friday.

A senior official of the Meghalaya Home Department said that the state government has appointed retired IAS officer Peter S Dkhar as the interlocutor for facilitating the talks with the HNLC, which also last month offered to hold peace talks with the Centre and the Meghalaya government without any pre-conditions.

With a vast knowledge of ethnic issues of Meghalaya, Dkhar is a former deputy commissioner of East Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills districts. Retired IPS officer A.K. 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. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma recently held a meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla in New Delhi and discussed the peace proposal by the HNLC.

"The HNLC's proposal to initiate talks with the governments under the parameters of the constitution is a welcome step. They are keen to talk to the government in the interest of peace and development," the Chief Minister had said in a video message.

He added that more positive developments are expected to take place in the next few days.The militant outfit recently in a statement said that the peace initiative was disrupted after last year's killing or the fake encounter of the group's former General Secretary Cherishterfield Thangkhiew.

The HNLC has claimed responsibility for the low-intensity blasts that took place in recent months in the heart of Shillong and other areas in the state. 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.

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