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Doors open for talks with HNLC militants : M’laya Gov

Doors open for talks with HNLC militants : M’laya Gov
Tathagata Roy
Correspondent SHILLONG, MAR 13 | Publish Date: 3/13/2020 12:24:16 PM IST

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy said doors are open for dialogue with outlawed Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) provided they give up their unlawful activities.

“Militancy in the State is completely under control. With very few cadres based in Bangladesh, the HNLC’s activities are confined to issuing press releases and posting in social media,” Roy said in his address to the Assembly at the start of the Budget Session on Friday. 

He also informed that the militant outfit has also expressed its desire to come over ground for talks.

“The government reiterates its stand that doors are open for dialogue provided they give up their unlawful activities,” Roy said. 

Moreover, he said the government has been rehabilitating the surrendered and disbanded militant cadres under revised scheme for surrender-cum-rehabilitation of militants in the North East. 

The HNLC, which claims to carry out its hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland in Meghalaya.

Meghalaya shares a 444 km long border with Bangadesh part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltrations.

On the other hand, Roy informed that fencing has been erected for 329.160 Km along the State’s Indo-Bangla border.  He said the government is committed to complete the remaining fencing on the international border with Bangladesh at a fast pace to effectively contain the influx of Bangladeshi nationals, trans-border movement and activities of militants besides anti-social elements.

Cops effectively handled CAA, ILP  agitations

Meghalaya Governor Tathagata Roy also praised the State Police for effectively handling the agitations against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA) and demand for Inner Line Permit (ILP). 

In his address to the Assembly at the start of the budget session, Roy informed that the government is actively pursuing with the Central government on the implementation of ILP in the state. 

The Meghalaya Assembly had unanimously adopted a resolution in a special session on December 19, 2019 to implement “Inner Line” under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 to ensure further protection and safeguard the interest of the people of the state. 

Informing the Assembly that the State has witnessed agitation and protest by various NGOs against CAA and demand for ILP, Roy said, “Overall, agitations against CAA and demand for ILP were effectively handled by the State Police.” 

However, he said an unfortunate incident  took place on February 28 in Ichamati under Sohra Civil Sub-Division of East Khasi Hills district where one Lurshai Hynniewta succumbed to his injuries following clashes between two groups. 

He said the clashes occurred after a meeting organised by the Khasi Students’ Union on the CAA and ILP. 

Roy said the police were swift to take action and arrested eight people. Besides, the government has ordered a magisterial enquiry following the incident.  “The police are the investigating all these cases and will ensure that justice is done,” the Governor informed. 

On the recent mob lynching at Pashang village under Mawkynrew Block of East Khasi Hills district, Roy said, the government was deeply concerned about the incident. 

“Such incidents tend to mar the good reputation of the state as a peace loving tourism destination. the government appeals to the citizens of the state to refrain from all such acts of violence in the interest of maintaining peace and harmony in the state,” Governor said. 

M’laya committed to scientific coal mining 

Roy  said that the government is committed to promote scientific, secure and environmentally friendly coal mining in the state complying with all statutory central legislations. 

“Efforts by the government to resolve coal mining issues culminated in landmark judgment by the Supreme Court in which it was held that private owners of land as well as community owners have both surface rights as well as sub-soil rights,” Roy said in his address to the Assembly at the start of the Budget Session. 

The Governor informed the members of the Assembly that the Court “permitted” coal mining in the state as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 with approved mining plan with strict compliance the of Mines Act, 1952 and Coal Mines Regulations 2017. 

 In addition to consultation with various stakeholders and experts to secure environment friendly coal mining, Roy said the government has also conducted sensitization programme in West Jaintia Hills to educate mine owners about procedures to be followed in starting coal mining under the provisions of MMDR Act 1957 and the Mineral Concession Rules 1960. 

Stating that government is committed to restore the environment damaged by coal mining in the state, Roy said the State has been collecting 10 per cent of the value of coal from coal transported under the order of the Supreme Court and Natonal Green Tribunal and deposited towards the Meghalaya Environment Protection and Restoration Fund. 

  He said an action plan has been prepared for restoration of environment damaged by coal mining and pilot projects have already commenced. 

 “The state the government has also notified the guidelines for utilization of MEPRF fund. The District Mineral Foundation have been notified in eight districts to minimize or mitigate adverse effects of mining on environment, health and for implementing various developmental and welfare programmes in mining affected areas.

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