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M’laya open for talks with rebel groups: Sangma
Correspondent Shillong, Nov 30:
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Published on 1 Dec. 2010 12:30 AM IST
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Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma Tuesday said his government is open for meaningful dialogue with the secessionist group, the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) and other rebel groups.
“The state government is always open to meaningful dialogue with any such outfit, including the HNLC, provided, that the outfit indicates its keenness to do so, and it is within the framework of the Constitution oflndia,” Sangma told the assembly during the question hour.
He, however, said the operations against the HNLC would continue.
The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Khasi homeland in Meghalaya.
Meghalaya shares a 443-km border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltration.
“Efforts by succesive governments has tried to prevail upon the HNLC to sit for a dialogue, but no clear- cut indication has come from the outfit,” Sangma said. Nonetheless, the activities of the tribal Khasi militant outfit has drastically been reduced after many hardcore cadres of the tribal Khasi outfit surrendered, the Chief Minister told legislators.
However, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)legislator Conrad K Sangma, who is also the Leader of Opposition, accused the ruling Congress-led coalition government of not being sincere and committed in solving militancy in the State.
“If the government is intent to have dailogue. It appears the government is least bothered and they don’t even know how many times the government and Achik National Volunteer Council’s (ANVC) had held talks,” Conrad said.
The ANVC, a powerful rebel group operating in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills region, has been in a tripartite ceasefire with the central and the state governments since July 23, 2004 to facilitate the ongoing dialogue.

 
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