Shillong: While formal peace talks are all set to begin with the banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), summons issued to top leaders has annoyed the underground outfit.
The special court of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Shillong has issued summons to four HNLC, which is fighting for a sovereign homeland for the tribal Khasis of Meghalaya.
The NIA issued a lookout notice, which is published in local newspapers served notices on HNLC leaders — Bobby Marwein, Marius Rynjah and Sainkupar Nongtraw.
The HNLC leaders have been summoned to appear before the NIA Special Judge on January 4, 2023.
Describing the notice as “uncalled for”, HNLC general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said it is a clear cut indication that the authorities have bypassed the entire procedure of the ongoing peace talks.
“Before the initiation of the ongoing tripartite peace talks, we had made it clear that all cases should be withdrawn so as to ensure a secure environment to pursue the peace talks,” Nongtraw said.
The HNLC leader claimed that the government had assured that once the peace process begins, all old cases would not be a hurdle for the ongoing peace talks.
Nongtraw said chief minister Conrad Sangma and home minister Lahkmen Rymbui had asserted that the NIA charge sheet would not hamper the peace talks.
“The summons is an issue of concern while peace talks are ongoing…. It also clearly shows the double standards and attitude of the government, which again creates doubt and mistrust into the entire exercise,” HNLC general secretary said.
Nongtraw said the HNLC had abjured violence from the initiation of the peace talks and till date we have not created any kind of atmosphere so as to hamper the peace talks.
“We have had several rounds of meetings with officials of the MHA and the state government. So far we had been assured of total peace, coordination and cooperation by the government. But summon published in the local dailies was uncalled for,” the HNLC general secretary added.
The NIA had filed charge sheets against HNLC cadres in connection with a blast that took place behind the staff quarters of Star Cement Factory Colony Lane in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills on December 12, 2020.