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HNLC threatens to spoil peace efforts in Meghalaya

Written by: Staff
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Shillong, Apr 27 (UNI) The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has threatened to back out from the proposed peace talks with the government over the issue of uranium mining in the state.

In a statement emailed to a section of media yesterday, publicity secretary of the outfit Sainkupar Nongtraw said, ''If the government allows uranium mining in the state, we will back out from the proposed peace talks.'' Several NGOs in the state are also opposed to uranium mining and claimed that it would lead to environmental hazards.

The outfit alleged that uranium mining would only benefit the wealthy businessmen from outside the state, while the indigenous people would be at the receiving end.

''If the government wants uranium mining to bring about development, it should rather look for creation of people-based industry,'' said the statement.

Meanwhile, Rev P B M Basaiawmoit, mediating with the outfit, has accused the central government of lack of sincerity for expediting the ceasefire agreement with the insurgent outfit.

The Church leader lashed out at Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil for his alleged ''failure'' to honour the commitment of unconditional dialogue with the HNLC rebels.

''So far, I have been defending the role of the center, but now it appears that it is not sincere enough and using me for other designs instead of holding talks with the HNLC,'' Rev Basaiawmoit alleged.

UNI SG TJP AKP1319

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