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SHILLONG | Jan 16:

Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynsong has asserted that the offer made by banned militant outfit — Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) for holding peace talks will need to be discussed with the central government.

“This is not only the state government’s subject. We also need to sit down with the centre so that tripartite talk can take place at the earliest,” Tynsong told media persons in Shillong on Wednesday.

While welcoming the step taken by the HNLC, the Dy CM reiterated that the government is pursuing this matter “very seriously”. However, he said that the time and date for the matter to be discussed with the centre is yet to be decided. “Yes, we pursue very seriously but can’t say when,” he added.

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It may be mentioned that the HNLC, in a statement, had recently offered to hold political dialogue with the centre and the state government but maintained that they will not surrender first.

The banned militant outfit had also cautioned that if it doesn’t materialise, they don’t mind continuing their struggle as they neither lack manpower, money power, nor firepower.

Reacting to this, Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma had reiterated that the Government has always maintained that they (HNLC) need to shun violence adding that they should not set any pre-conditions while offering to take a step towards political dialogue.

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“If we are convinced that the insurgent group is serious in having a peace dialogue then the matter will be brought to the cabinet by the Political department,” Sangma said.

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