HNLC questions govt’s summon to General Secretary

Shillong, September 3 (NNN): The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has expressed its displeasure today about the government's decision to summon its general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw despite the ongoing peace talks.

The outfit also demanded that the government drops all charges against all its leaders and to immediately offer general amnesty failing which it may have to withdraw from the ongoing peace talks. "The HNLC vehemently condemns the recent actions taken by the government, specifically the notice publicly summoning Saiñkupar Nongtraw, General Secretary of HNLC, to court amidst the ongoing formal talks," HNLC said in a statement.

It also said this is not the first instance where HNLC leaders, including the Chairman and the Finance Secretary of the outfit, have been summoned during informal discussions.

"Such actions not only undermine our trust in the government but also have the potential to hinder and disrupt the efforts towards achieving a lasting resolution," the statement also said.

Stating that the HNLC remains committed to the peace process and has actively engaged in negotiations with the state government, the statement added, “However, we are deeply concerned about the double standard exhibited by the government.”
"The state government demanded my attendance at a meeting with a strict deadline of September 30, while the MHA, on the other hand, specifically targets all senior leaders of HNLC to appear in person," it further maintained.

The HNLC also emphasized that all leaders and cadres will not come out openly unless and until its political demands are met. It urged the government to hold talks with the delegation authorized by the HNLC central executive committee and led by the Vice Chairman.

To ensure the success of the peace process, the HNLC said, "We demand that the charges against HNLC leaders be dropped and a general amnesty be offered. Without these essential steps, our key leader will not actively participate in the ongoing negotiations. While we have authorized the Vice Chairman and their delegation to represent us in talks, the lack of seriousness displayed by the government is becoming increasingly evident. If this attitude persists, we will be left with no option but to withdraw from the negotiations entirely."

"HNLC remains steadfast in its commitment to achieve lasting peace and a political solution. We hope that the government will reassess its actions and work collaboratively towards a mutually agreeable solution," it added.

On the other hand, the HNLC said that practically, none of the peace accords in Northeast India have materialized, except for the Mizo Accord.

"Even the instrument of accession, which your government forced upon our nation 76 years ago, has not been implemented in letter and spirit. Additionally, the standstill agreement signed between the Indian government and Federation of Khasi States was violated," the HNLC pointed out.

"Given these circumstances, can you expect us to trust your government repeatedly?” it questioned while referring to the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir. 

“If your government shows the same determination in dividing Meghalaya and declaring Hynńiewtrep as a separate and equal state with a specific timeline, just as they did with Kashmir, then we would be more inclined to trust your governance," the HNLC added. In such a scenario, it said, "We would not require any financial assistance or what you refer to as 'rehabilitation packages' for the HNLC.”