Arrested members were on peace mission: Art of Living

Shillong
22 Nov 2017

The Art of Living (AoL) Foundation, whose members were arrested on charges of conspiracy and having links with a banned insurgent group in Meghalaya's West Jaintia Hills district, today said that they were on a peace mission. The foundation issued a statement here following the arrest of two of its members at Dawki near the Meghalaya-Bangladesh border on November 20.
It said they were on a peace mission to convince members of the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) members to eschew violence and join the mainstream. "Senior Faculty Samir Jolly accompanied by Khroo Lamsalanki Pariat were on a peace mission to establish contact with the misguided youths who are operating in the area and convince them to eschew violence and join the mainstream," the Art of Living Foundation said in a statement here.
West Jaintia Hills district superintendent of police Vivek Syiem had told PTI on Tuesday that the two had valid visas to travel to Bangladesh but not the legal mandate or the permission of the state government to hold parleys with the HNLC leaders. They were charged under Sections 10 and 13 of UAPA. The statement said, the activities of the members were a part of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar s vision of engaging the misguided youth of the region and facilitating the process of making them come over ground. The Art of Living foundation claimed that similar intervention in Manipur had led to the recent homecoming of 68 militants where it also trained and rehabilitated cadres from United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) and those in Manipur.
HNLC sent a statement to the media during the day in which it lauded the NDA ministry at the Centre and the Art of Living Foundation for trying to negotiate peace in the state. "The organisation expressed its gratefulness to the ministry and the AoL for their willingness to bring the HNLC to the negotiating table," HNLC spokesperson Sainkupar Nongtraw said in an e-mail. (PTI)