NEW DELHI: The proscribed militant organisation in Meghalaya, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) threatened to launch an attack against Central forces in the state if the Union government continued to delay the peace process.

Appreciating the state government for initiating the peace dialogue, HNLC on Sunday claimed that its leadership has declared a unilateral ceasefire against the government and wanted the Centre to appoint an interlocutor at the earliest, failing which the outlawed organisation threatened to launch an attack.

“If the Centre delays in appointing an interlocutor then we will be compelled to launch attack on central forces,” HNLC publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said in a statement, adding, “The appointment of an interlocutor has been pending since 2014. We have strictly complied with the order of the proposed unilateral ceasefire declared by our leadership”.

He proudly proclaimed that this demonstrated the unwavering commitment of the militant group towards peace and social justice.

Alleging that the state police department has been attempting to provoke them with orchestrated operations, he said that HNLC shouldn’t be taken for granted.

“We have been silent for a long time and we should not be taken for granted. BSF officials have already declared that we have seven camps and that is not a matter of joke”, Nongtraw asserted.

The statement added “We have requested that the ceasefire be verified by the state and national bodies. The governments should not refuse to attend our decision and request”.

However, he clarified that this ceasefire shouldn’t be taken as their downfall and asserted that this shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to set any preconditions by the Union government.

“It should be clear that we only want what is our legitimate right. We are not demanding anything that belongs to others”, Nongtraw stated.

The outlawed militant group also praised the efforts of Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Home Minister Roshan Warjri in submitting their recommendations to the Union Home ministry of initiating peace talks with the HNLC and appoint an interlocutor for the same.

On March 10, the Meghalaya Governor and the State government had made conditional talk offers to HNLC as well as GNLA whereby the militant organisations were offered to participate in the peace process and dialogue, even designating interlocutors for the negotiation purpose, provided, these rebel groups give up their anti-national stance and abjure violence.