The State government will consult the Home Ministry on the conditions set by the banned HNLC regarding the next round of peace talks.
On November 17, HNLC chairman and commander-in-chief Bobby R. Marwein and general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said that they would not take part in the next round of talks unless the government dropped all pending cases against them and signed a ceasefire agreement.
The outfit also said that its chairman or general secretary cannot participate in the talks since it had officially entrusted newly appointed vice chairman Teimiki Laloo with overseeing the talk process and evaluating its progress.
Speaking to this reporter today, a senior Home Department official on condition of anonymity said that the State government is examining the conditions set by the HNLC and will decide whether they are acceptable or not.
“This is a very difficult matter. The State government is examining whether these conditions are acceptable or not. We will also have to consult the Home Ministry since it is also involved in this process. But the government is serious about the peace talks going forward,” the official said.
On November 14, Deputy Chief Minister in-charge Home (Police) Prestone Tynsong had asked the HNLC to communicate its decision on the government’s request for its top leaders to be present for the next round of peace talks.
In August last year, the HNLC leadership had authorised its ‘vice-chairman’ and ‘foreign secretary’ to participate in the ongoing tripartite talks between the Centre, the State government and the outfit.
In the same month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a chargesheet against four members of the outlawed organisation for allegedly triggering a bomb on the premises of Star Cement Factory in East Jaintia Hills in December 2020 for their failure to pay ransom.
Investigation revealed that the explosion was carried out by the outfit after the company’s owner failed to pay the ‘illegal tax’ demanded by Marius Rynjah alias Hep Koit, the ‘finance secretary’ of the outfit, the official added.
The four persons named in the chargesheet are Emmanuel Suchen of Lumshnong in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district and three others who are residents of Moulvibazar district in Bangladesh including HNLC chairman Bobby Marwein, general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw and Rynjah.