Mukul slams MDA Govt for its lack of commitment over peace talks with HNLC

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Shillong, Dec 1: Leader of Opposition Mukul Sangma on Thursday questioned if the state government has taken the Centre on board with regards to the ongoing peace process.

He was commenting on the NIA’s action to issue summons against the leaders of the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) despite the peace process already going underway.

Sangma said it is important as policy makers to really understand the complexity associated with all these things.

He said that during the then Congress-led government there was call to also engage with the HNLC for peace talks. “We (however) took time because we wanted to see during our time if the leadership of the HNLC really committed or will HNLC also like what we have seen with ANVC land up in that kind of situation so we needed to have a real in-depth study and understanding.”

He said it is a good thing that the government has now decided to engage in a political dialogue with the HNLC. The former chief minister however said, “It is good but the way it is being done I am afraid it will have reasons to create that lack of trust – which are a recipe for future problems of similar nature.”

“Therefore, the government has to be very serious; the government must come clean on what were the terms and conditions which were inked in those conditions to proceed ahead with this political settlement through this political negotiation,” he added.

Sangma questioned the failure of the government to ensure this kind of hiccups shall not emerge and create this kind of suspicion, doubt, and lack of trust.

He strongly asserted the need for the NPP-led MDA government to take up with Government of India because in any event when engaging with any of the proscribed organization or banned terrorist organizations, the Government of India’s nod is required as the state government alone cannot decide – “you see that was one of the calls that the state government had to take during our time, because this engagement has always been collective involving both the state and the union government.”

The leader of opposition further questioned: “Therefore, has the state failed to ensure that the government of India is on board as far as these conditions are concerned? I am questioning the government, have they not taken the government of India on board pertaining to these small minute details which can be a factor to create the kind of dislocation which we are apprehensive of given the kind of situation that we have seen?”

“All the cases that are filed against the members of the organizations must be withdrawn over a period of time, after the negotiation text settlement is signed. Didn’t we do that?” he asked.

He further said numbers of cases were withdrawn after disbandment of the ANVC and after numbers of cadres agreed to delink in respect of GNLA and members of other organizations when they agreed to accept the offer of the state government and delinked and disassociated themselves from their parent organizations and come over ground to assimilate themselves with the nation and be part of the progress and prosperity and the good story of development.

“But what is happening now? I have been told by many of these cadres that even till now they are made to go and attend to many of the cases that have been filed against them,” Sangma alleged.

The former chief minister further alleged the present government of abandoning the surrendered cadres and deprived them of what was promised.

“This is a continuous process. We could not even complete the whole counseling process and rehabilitation package that was designed by the government in respect of those members who withdrew and came and surrendered from GNLA and other organizations.

This government abandoned these youth and some of them have been deprived of what was promised,” he said. “This does not indicate the commitment with which the state government wanted to engage in dialogue and generate the kind of hope and also the trust and confidence, I am afraid these are precursors to create that kind of lack of trust and confidence.”

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