Shillong: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday held a meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla to finalize the arrangements for peace talks with the Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a banned insurgent outfit.

The HNLC recently expressed desire to bring an end to its armed struggle that began in the late 1980s in eastern Meghalaya.

In a video message from New Delhi, the chief minister said, “It was a very positive meeting and we will take the steps further as per discussion.”

However, it will not be appropriate to share details of the plans at this point, he said.

They (HNLC) have expressed a desire to have talks with the government of India and the state government in the interest of overall peace in the state. We have received a letter (from them) informing us that they are coming forward for talks within the parameters of the Constitution of India, Sangma said.

The HNLC was formed in 1997 and its key objective was to transform Meghalaya as a province exclusively for the Khasi tribe, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal.

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