Meghalaya govt ready for talks with banned outfit HNLC: CM

Shillong, Dec 5 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Thursday announced that his government is ready for talks with the banned insurgent outfit Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on certain conditions that included surrendering of arms.
The Centre had last month declared the Meghalaya-based HNLC a banned outfit for its increased activities of violence and other subversive acts over the past several years.
The HNLC has been openly declaring as its objective the secession of the state’s areas, which are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals, from the Indian Union, the Ministry of Home Affairs said on November 18.
“We are ready for talks (with the HNLC) provided that the conditions are met. The three conditions are that arms must be laid down, there must be complete shunning of violence and the surrender must be unconditional,” the chief minister told PTI here.
He said the government stand is very clear in this regard.
The rebel outfit has recently expressed its willingness to give up the armed struggle and requested both the Centre and the state government to go for peace initiatives.
In a recent statement to the media, HNLC general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw had said, “We are now looking forward to give up our armed struggle and concentrate on political dialogue.”
Now the ball is in the court of the Centre and the government of Meghalaya to further the peace initiatives, it had said.