HNLC talks offer a positive sign, says Mukul

Former CM advises govt to build trust & confidence among militants

Shillong, Mar 11: The leader of opposition, Mukul Sangma, said on Friday that banned outfit HNLC’s offer to have unconditional talks is a positive sign and an indication of long-lasting peace in the state. At the same time, he advised the government to keep its promises.

Sangma’s comments came a day after the state government appointed former East Khasi Hills deputy commissioner Peter S Dkhar as an interlocutor to facilitate the peace process with the banned outfit.


When asked, Sangma said the appointment of an interlocutor would mean that there was a go-ahead from the Centre.

“Once this procedure has been adopted then it is taken as a principle stand of the government that you are not going to resort to any other way of going after them — the reason for appointing a designated interlocutor is precisely for that,” the former chief minister said.

Stating there is a need to have “mutual trust” and “confidence”, Sangma said, “That is the reason why I caution the government that once you convince anybody belonging to a militant outfit or a proscribed organisation… you have to ensure that the action of the government and government agencies do not ultimately go to that kind of situation where the members of such organisations have the reason to doubt that okay even after calling their members and after convincing them to surrender.”

“(This is because) sometimes government do have that tendency to create problems for them (banned outfit) then that trust factor, if eroded, will created a deterrence,” he added.

When asked if talks with the HNLC would bring peace in the state, Sangma said it is a complex situation and that there is no space and no room for complacency.

He cited the example of Garo Hills, which had witnessed mushrooming of militant outfits following the suspension of operation and the tripartite agreement involving the Government of India, the state government and ANVC in 2004.

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