Meghalaya BJP for peace talks with HNLC

Correspondent Shillong, Jun 15 | Publish Date: 6/15/2020 10:18:54 AM IST

The Meghalaya unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday urged Conrad Sangma-led government to invite the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) for peace talks.

“We (BJP) welcome their offer for peace talks and we are ready to help them if they want to meet the Union Home Minister Amit Shah,” BJP Meghalaya state president, Ernest Mawrie told journalists.

“Since we are part of the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, we will take up the matter and advise the government to ensure peace prevails in the state,” he said, urging the Conrad Sangma-led government to invite the militant outfit to the negotiating table.

Two BJP legislators are part of the six-party MDA coalition government.

The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh and has been demanding a ‘sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland’ in Meghalaya, had said that it was ready for peace talks even within the ambit of the Constitution of India to regain the respect and recognition as a “Nation”.

“We are ready for peace talks within the ambit of the Constitution of India or even outside the Constitution as per requirements,” HNLC General Secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw had said.

Meghalaya shares a 443 km long border with Bangladesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltrations.

The State government, on the other hand, has time and again said that it was ready for dialogue provided the banned outfit lay down arms and abjure violence.

Meanwhile, highlighting various achievements of the NDA-led government on completing one year of its second term, Mawrie praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for restoring peace in the North Eastern States.

“Ever since Modi took over, there has been almost 70 per cent reduction in insurgency incidents and 79 percent reduction in civilian deaths. Kidnapping and abduction cases fell by 62 percent in the region and 78 percent reduction in security forces casualties in the year 2019,” Mawrie said.

“Modi has brought peace, which is the first step for development and growth,” he further asserted.

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