Manipur govt ends its peace pact with 2 insurgent groups
The Manipur cabinet has decided to withdraw the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreements signed with insurgent groups Kuki National Army (KNA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) with immediate effect.
Imphal: The Manipur cabinet has decided to withdraw the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreements signed with insurgent groups Kuki National Army (KNA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) with immediate effect, a statement issued by the government said.
The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting on Friday evening, hours after protest rallies were held in Manipur’s Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts, and subsequent clashes with the police in Kangpokpi district. Several people, including some policemen, were injured after a protest rally against some parts of the state being declared as protected areas turned violent on Friday. Security forces had to use force to combat the mob in the Kangpokpi district.
Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh alleged that the rallies were influenced by the ZRA and KNA.
He also said that the ZRA president is a Myanmarese while the KNA is led by one Hoakip who is from Nagaland.
“Discussed reviewing the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement, particularly with the ZRA and KNA who are allegedly influencing the agitations after the eviction notices were issued to the forest encroachers,” Singh tweeted after chairing the meeting with the council of ministers and senior police officials.
The cabinet noted that the rallies were organised for a cause which is unconstitutional and were therefore illegal, a statement issued by the state government late on Friday said.
“After detailed deliberation, the cabinet decided to withdraw the state government from tripartite talks/SoO agreements with 2 hill-based insurgent groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) whose leaders hail from outside the state,” it added.
The Centre and the Manipur government signed the tripartite SoO agreement with the two umbrella groups of Kuki militants, United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) on August 22, in 2008. Since then, the government has been extending the agreement after it expired. The KNA and ZRA are signatories of KNO.
The Cabinet also reaffirmed that the state government will not compromise on steps taken to protect the state’s forest resources and for eradicating poppy cultivation. Show cause notices were issued to the DC and SPs of Churachandpur and Tengnoupal for allowing a rally on Friday in violation of prohibitory orders under CrPC 144.
Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has refuted CM Singh’s statement that militant groups were involved in March 10 protests in the hill districts disrupting law and order situation and indulging in violence.
“The ITLF does not involve any armed organisation as falsely stated by the uninformed CM,” said Muan Tombing, secretary of the ITLF.
“The chief minister is neglecting his subjects who are in the hills. And again he is ignoring the voice of the hill people thereby misinforming the central government, that’s the reason why the hill is not getting development above the claim that he had made” he added.
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