Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong on Thursday said that the government would make sure that everything “is fine” for Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) “general secretary” Cheristerfield Thangkhiew who deserted the militant outfit and surrendered on Thursday.
Thangkhiew popularly known as “Bah Che” surrendered before Tynsong in the presence of acting DGP RP Agarwal and other top police officials.
“This is not the first case (of surrender) that has happened. Whatever needs to be done will be done. Leave it to the wisdom of the government to handle it and we will make sure everything is fine,” Tynsong told reporters when asked about various criminal cases pedning against Thangkhiew.
Like other HNLC leaders, Thangkhiew was once the most wanted militant declared by the Meghalaya police and he was accused of indulging in kidnappings, killing, robbery and other criminal activities.
As in the past, the state government closed all criminal cases against militant leaders who surrendered before it. Former ‘chairman’ of the HNLC turned-politician, Julias K Dorphang who surrendered before the then Meghalaya chief minister DD Lapang on July 24, 2007 did not face criminal proceedings.
On numerous occasions, the state government in the past and now, had brushed aside the proposed peace talks with HNLC saying that the outfit should first lay down arms and abjure the path of violence.
The government wanted the militants to surrender and take advantage of the surrender package being offered by it.
In his speech, Tynsong hoped that Thangkhiew’s decision to come over ground would inspire others who are still part of the HNLC to follow suit in joining the mainstream.
“The state government wants to focus and take forward the agenda of development as we are here to transform our state,” Tynsong said, while terming Thangkhiew’s joining the mainstream a “memorable day” who would now start a new life especially after he had disconnected himself for several years from the mainstream.
Tynsong also thanked the family members of Thangkhiew including his brother (Grey Thangkhiew).
“We have had a number of discussions with Bah Che’s brother. I place my gratitude to Bah Che for coming over ground and joined the mainstream,” Tynsong said, as he urged other HNLC cadres to follow the example of Thangkhiew.