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Meghalaya: Top militant leader gives up arms
K Anurag in Guwahati | July 24, 2007 16:56 IST
In a major fillip to the ongoing peace overtures by Meghalaya government to bring leaders of the state's insurgent group to over ground, the chairman of the banned Hynnewtrap National Liberation Council gave up arms before Chief Minister D D Lapang along with four other members of the outfit in Shillong on Tuesday.
Presenting Julius Dorphang, chairman of the banned HNLC, and four other militants who were escorted by a special team of Meghalaya police to the chief minister's office, Lapang said the welcome gesture shown by the insurgent leader by coming over ground was a boost his government's efforts to strike peace with militant groups.
The four militants who came over ground along with the HNLC chairman were Teilang Wanniang, Salongsar Thongi, Bima Sutiong and Rit Lakashiang.
The HNLC, which was formed in 1992, has been involved in bloody conflict with police and security forces in pursuant of their demand for a 'sovereign homeland' for Khasi tribe, one of the three major tribal groups in Meghalaya.
The HNLC has been active in the state's east and west Khasi Hill districts dominated by Khasi tribe. The outfit has been involved in killings and rampant extortion in the hill state over the years.
Of late, there have been several peace overtures at government and non-government level to bring the outfit to negotiation with the government for lasting peace in the hill state.