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HNLC seeks withdrawal of criminal cases, re-stresses on amnesty for peace process to continue

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Shillong, June 24: The proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) on Saturday sought dropping of all criminal cases registered against its leaders and cadres while asserting that amnesty is needed to take the peace process forward.

The outfit conveyed its demand during the first round of peace talks held with the Centre and State government here.

Addressing the media, the outfit’s representative and HNYF president Sadon K Blah said, “We have discussed today on the need to open the door for the peace process to move forward and (to do this) the government should consider granting amnesty by waving all criminal charges against the HNLC leaders and cadres.”

He said the outfit is seeking amnesty on cases registered against its leaders and cadres by both Centre and State governments.

There is only one case registered and chargesheeted by the Centre’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) against top leaders of the HNLC which include its chairman Bobby Marwein and general secretary-cum-publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw.

Blah informed that the representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the State had stated that it will be a matter of weeks for the government to consider the representation of the outfit particularly on the issue of amnesty.

“They have assured us that the matter will be considered in a matter of weeks and it will be communicated to us so that we can pursue the issues concerned. The response was positive and encouraging. They assured that the government will try to solve this matter as soon as possible,” he said.

He also informed that during the tripartite meeting, the government had also put forth some suggestions and proposals, and said, “Today itself, we will be having a meeting to discuss on the proposals we got from the government authorities and we will decide how soon the meeting will be held and we will communicate to them and they will also communicate to us.”

Stating that the outfit is yet to place its political agenda across the table, Blah said, “This is because we are waiting for the door to open first before we proceed with the political agenda as the political agenda is not a matter to be solved in a day or two. When I say the door to have further communication on the political agenda is that both the government must consider waiving of these criminal charges and dropping of cases in whatever manner they can manage to do it so that we can proceed forward.”

Also read: Pyniaid Sing Syiem tables Rs. 55,080 deficit budget for KHADC

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