Explained: Suspension of Operations agreement with Kuki militant groups in Manipur | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Explained: Suspension of Operations agreement with Kuki militant groups in Manipur

Feb 29, 2024 12:48 PM IST

The SoO agreement was signed by the Centre and the Manipur government with Kuki militant groups in August 2008

The Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with Kuki militant groups in Manipur is expiring on Thursday but there is yet no clarity either on its renewal or abrogation from the central government.

The SoO agreement was signed by the Centre and the Manipur government with Kuki militant groups in August 2008. (Reuters file photo)
The SoO agreement was signed by the Centre and the Manipur government with Kuki militant groups in August 2008. (Reuters file photo)

The SoO agreement with 25 armed Kuki armed groups in Manipur was extended for another one year until February 29, 2023. The Centre has renewed the extension every year since 2008.

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

“We are also awaiting clarity from the Centre. The situation is peaceful but tense in Manipur,” a top government officer said on Thursday.

The SoO agreement was signed by the Centre and the Manipur government with Kuki militant groups in August 2008.

On Wednesday night, hundreds of Meira Paibis, who are Meitei women, held a candlelight march across Imphal, demanding that the SoO be not renewed.

In the last few days, Meitei groups have been demanding that the SoO be withdrawn as the members of such militant groups have indulged in violence during the ethnic clashes in Manipur.

Civil society groups such as COCOMI (Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity) have also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah.

Kuki-Zo legislators have also written to the PM and HM in the last nine months requesting that SoO should not be abrogated.

The Kuki groups have reiterated that the bulk of arms and ammunition looted from government armouries is with Meitei civilians and members of radical Meitei group, Arambai Tenggol.

The unilateral suspension of the SoO by the state last March is also seen as one of the factors behind the ethnic violence that has roiled the state since May, with the trigger being a High Court order (read down recently) that said the state should ensure Meiteis get Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, sparking a protest by Kukis that turned violent.

What is the Suspension of Operations (SoS) agreement?

The Suspension of Operation was first signed between the Government of India, Manipur government and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) on August 22, 2008, to cease hostilities. The militant groups agreed to completely stop any form of violence.

The Centre and the state also agreed that no force (army, paramilitary, state police) would launch operations against the signatories if they abide by the agreement’s terms.

A Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) comprising of principal secretary (Home), inspector general of additional director general (intelligence), representatives of army, paramilitary forces and home ministry was set up.

The JMG is tasked to meet every month and check if the militant groups are abiding by the terms of the agreement.

Some terms of the agreement have been revised at least thrice over the years.

The terms of the agreement are as follow:

Cadres of the militant groups to stay in designated camps.

The routine administration of the camp will be in the hands of the group.

The cadres are paid a monthly stipend of 6,000.

Such camps will not be located close to populated areas and National Highways. Also, such camps to be located far away international border

A complete list of the cadres of the UG group is provided to the special branch of state police with name, date of birth along with latest photographs. All cadres are issued identity cards.

Leaders/cadres from the group requiring to frequently move, will be given different photo identity cards by IGP (Intelligence) Manipur.

The JMG decides the list of the leaders of the group who shall be allowed to have PSOs. They cannot have more than 5 PSOs.

No more than 20% of cadres will be allowed to leave the camp at any given time.

The state government and JMG members can conduct inspections at the camp to check for violations.

All weapons will be held within the camp’s armoury in a double locking system, with one key being with the group and other, with the concerned security force.

Cadres will not be allowed to acquire additional arms, ammunition or military equipment.

They will not be allowed to carry fresh recruitment of cadres or raise additional military/civil outfits/ front organisations or try to run its own government.

They will not undertake offensive operations against the security forces or the public.

They will not construct memorials, hoist flags or carry out parades of armed cadres.

In case of any violation, the state government can cancel the SoO but this can be done only on the recommendation of the JMG.

The JMG has members from Centre’s MHA, Army and paramilitary forces who do not report to the state chief minister.

Discover the complete story of India's general elections on our exclusive Elections Product! Access all the content absolutely free on the HT App. Download now!

Get Current Updates on India News, Elections 2024, Election 2024 Date along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On