The HNLC on Wednesday conveyed to Meghalaya home minister Lahkmen Rymbui that it was tired of extending its hands for peace in the last 17 years and was looking for a political solution to the issues.
The statement from the Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) comes after Rymbui on Monday said the Meghalaya government is examining the feasibility of holding peace talks with the militant outfit.
The home minister, however, maintained that the outfit should first come clean on their intention of holding the peace talks.
“For Mr Rymbui’s knowledge, we have been extending our hands, waiting for peace for 17 years, but arrests and killings of HNLC cadres are also continuing,” HNLC general secretary-cum-publicity secretary Saiñkupar Nongtraw said in a statement on Tuesday.
Nongtraw said, “We make it clear that the peace that the HNLC wants is not by surrendering or for money but what we want is to solve problems through political solution, which has been pending since 1947 after the British left.”
He said in these 17 years, the HNLC has been hoping to reach the table of peace talks in order to discuss with the government in Delhi all the issues pertaining to the Hynñiewtrep people.
“However, organisations, public have to face and taste lockups, lathis, and bullets coming from the government’s guns while fighting for the issues of Hynñiewtrep people,” Nongtraw alleged.
Nongtraw reminded that in 2019, the HNLC had discussed with one of the ministers of the present MDA government with the knowledge of the chief minister, but that was also not materialised.
“Therefore the statement of Rymbui that there are many channels is a blatant lie because, despite a resolution on ILP, which has been unanimously passed in the State Assembly, the MDA government could not find any channel to materialise the same,” Nongtraw stated.
In 2004, Nongtraw said the HNLC has sent a letter to the Government of India on peace talks but there was no response after which Rev PBM Basiawmoit acted as the mediator only for a short time.
He also said in 2014, the HNLC declared by itself ‘unilateral ceasefire’ by stopping all operations and on Independence Day, the outfit did not call bandh.
On the recent explosion at Sookilo in Jaiñtia Hills for which the HNLC had claimed responsibility, Nongtraw said “after the explosion, the Doloi of Elaka Sutnga again showed his power” when the outfit discussed over the phone where he denied his involvement in allowing illegal activities to take place by blaming the headman”.
“How can the headman carry out activities without the knowledge and permission of the Doloi?” Nongtraw questioned.
Nongtraw denied the allegation that the HNLC has demanded money from the Doloi and termed the allegation as “misleading”.
“The main reason (for carrying out the explosion) was because the Doloi has allowed outsiders to convert the market at Sookilo as a den of illegal activities. We warn against those who work together with the Doloi,” Nongtraw added.