Government will talk to HNLC within framework of Constitution

Shillong, Aug 20: The government has expressed its willingness to talk with the banned HNLC, but only if it shuns violence and discuss within the constitutional framework, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said.

“Come for talks unconditionally, shun violence and within the constitutional framework of the country we are ready to talk and discuss and that is our stand even today,” Sangma reiterated.

The Chief Minister said that the HNLC had on January 16 this year sent a letter to the government and among other things wanted a discussion on the Standstill Agreement and Instrument of Accession, which was not agreeable to the Centre.

The Centre had asked the HNLC to send another letter expressing the outfit’s willingness to come to the negotiating table without the two points. However the outfit is yet to do so.

“If we are given a letter mentioning that they are ready to talk without these conditions than the process can be taken ahead,” he said.

“I would like to again stress that obviously the government want that the talks happen but it cannot be on the basis of conditions that have been put forward by them. For these processes to go forward they must come forward with no condition,” Sangma added.

Meanwhile, Sangma also informed that the HNLC had served extortion notes to several citizens of the state.

The Chief Minister said that authorities have received inputs in the form of SMSes and other means from political leaders, businessmen and individuals that they were served extortion notes.

Sangma termed it as an extortion racket in away which has let them as a government and more importantly the police department to investigate.

“Large amount of evidence, documentation and proof is there,” Sangma said even as he assured that a large amount of work is being done and steps have been taken by the police department to ensure that this comes to a stop.

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