HSPDP President K.P. Pangniang.. Image Source: IANS News

Shillong, Dec 5 : The Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP), an ally in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, on Thursday urged the state and Central government not to ignore the peace talk offer made by the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC).

"We came to know via the media that the HNLC wanted to come to the negotiating table. This should be welcomed and should not be ignored. We want both the Central and state governments to take it seriously," HSPDP President K.P. Pangniang told journalists here.

HSPDP legislator Renikton Lyngdoh Tongkhar said: "We should welcome and respect the desire of the organisation to have a dialogue because we want peace in the state." On Sunday, HNLC General Secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw had said: "We are ready for peace talks within the ambit of the Constitution of India or even outside the Constitution as per requirements." He said the rebel outfit has been expressing its willingness to shun the path of violence since 2004.

The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, has been demanding a sovereign Hynniewtrep homeland in Meghalaya.

Meghalaya shares a 443 km-long border with Bangadesh, part of which is porous, hilly and unfenced and prone to frequent infiltrations.

Nongtraw said it was high time for the Centre, Meghalaya government and the HNLC to lay aside the prejudices and biases and find a common ground for peace to flourish.

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