The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) served a one – month deadline to the Government of Meghalaya for coming out clearly on the peace initiative between the two. ‘If the outcome of this is positive and if interlocutors are appointed, then we will not boycott the Independence Day celebrations in the State as a mark of our sincerity towards peace,’ stated Sainkupar Nongtraw, Publicity Secretary of HNLC.
Referring to the recent statements made by the Chief Minister Mukul Sangma that HNLC is indulging in unlawful activities by declaring shutdowns on Republic Day and Independence Day, Nongtraw admitted that even though the outfit had called these shutdown,s but they are not engaged in killing and kidnapping.
Taking a jibe at Dr. Sangma, Nongtraw said, ‘For the CM, boycotting of Republic Day and Independence Day is unlawful rather than the killing and kidnapping of people.’ Nongtraw also added that the HNLC has been boycotting these National Days because a year has passed since the Government of Meghalaya (GoM) had promised to appoint interlocutors for peace talks with the outfit but till date has not done so.
While rubbishing the claims of the Chief Minister that appointing of interlocutors is the prerogative of Government of India (GoI), Nongtraw pointed out, ‘This is ridiculous as the other groups engaged in peace talks with the GoM, were also found to be indulging in extortion, kidnapping and killing. But when it comes to the HNLC, the Chief Minister is helpless and needs the Centre’s nod.’
Clarifying that HNLC is committed to peace, Nongtraw asserted, ‘With strong public support to the process, we are confident that we will reach peace as a higher human purpose. The year 2016 must be the year of peace in Hynñiewtrep.’