Door open for talks with militants: Sangma

CM Mukul Sangma said his government was open to holding talks with any militant group.

Shillong: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma on Tuesday said anti-insurgency operations in Meghalaya will not be withdrawn, but his government was open to holding talks with any militant group.

"Efforts have been made both by state and central agencies to prevail upon the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) to sit for a dialogue, but no clear-cut indication has come from the outfit," Sangma said in response to a question in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Sangma was reacting to Opposition leader Conrad Sangma`s charge that the government was `least bothered` about the talks and lacked a responsible and pro-active approach.
The chief minister said the state government was always open to a "meaningful dialogue" with any militant group, including the HNLC, provided the outfit indicates its keenness to do so and it is within the framework of the Constitution.

He, however, said the operations against the militants would continue.

Efforts were made by successive governments to bring the organisation to the negotiating table and that such problems cannot be solved overnight, Sangma said, adding, "it is because of the efforts of the government, that the Achik National Volunteer Council entered into a ceasefire and is currently engaged in talks."
A number of hardcore HNLC cadres have also surrendered, he said, adding, it was because of the efforts of the security forces that militancy in the state has reduced considerably.


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