Cabinet minister and government spokesperson Paul Lyngdoh today appealed to the banned Hynñiewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) to reconsider its decision to pull out of peace talks.
The HNLC had made the decision because several of its “core” demands had not been met by the state government, chief among them the withdrawal of all pending criminal cases against its leaders and cadres.
According to Lyngdoh, a lot of ground has been covered through the talks so far and he said that the state government hopes that good sense will prevail and all sides will be able to return to the negotiating table.
However, he pleaded an inability to say much more on the issue as both the Chief Minister and Deputy CM are not in Shillong at the moment but assured that it will be a priority matter once they are back.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already urged the HNLC to come back for peace talks, though it said it would be difficult for the government to simply end proceedings into the criminal cases.
On the issue of amnesty to the HNLC, Lyngdoh said that it can be considered depending on the gravity of each of the cases.
On cases that have been chargesheeted, he said that those are matters of detail but, in general, the approach, according to him, should be that when there are peace talks it should not be to the detriment of any section and to the interest of only one section.
“So it has to be reciprocal based on the principle of reciprocity, then only can we take a stand on matters of detail. But the general approach would be that it has to be effective,” Lyngdoh said.