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Home ministry level talks with HNLC held 45 days back: CM

Shillong, Aug 20: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said about 45 days back in one of his visits to Delhi, a detailed meeting was held with the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs regarding talks with the banned HNLC.

Speaking to reporters, Conrad said the state government is ready for peace talks with the HNLC but the conditions put forward by it should be withdrawn.

The central government had rejected the need to revive standstill agreement and rectification of instrument of accession as demanded by the HNLC.

“We have already started communicating with them (HNLC), rather they had approached us also and based on that we had given a verbal communication saying that we are keen for long lasting peace but discussion at the government of India and government of Meghalaya levels cannot take place with conditions being put in the first letter that they had sent to us,” Sangma told reporters on Friday.

“We had repeatedly informed them that we would want you to not mention those conditions, come to the talks unconditionally, shun violence and within the constitutional framework of the country, we are ready to talk and discuss and that is our stand even today,” he maintained.

The chief minister said the government had told them the stand and the MHA had again conveyed to the government that they (HNLC) have to come out with a letter without any conditions.

“But I would like to again stress that obviously the government would want that the talks should  happen but it cannot be on the basis of the conditions,” he said.

Regarding the appointment of interlocutor to facilitate the peace talks, Sangma asserted that for the process to move forward, the HNLC must come ahead with no conditions and they must shun violence.

“If the HNLC again gives a letter mentioning that they are ready to talk without the conditions then the process can go ahead,” he said.

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