40 Manipur MLAs write to PM Modi on disarmament, agreement with Kuki militants

40 Manipur MLAs write to PM Modi on disarmament, agreement with Kuki militants

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Forty MLAs of the violence-hit Manipur have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating that the state requires complete disarmament to foster an environment of peace and security.

These MLAs, most of whom are ethnic Meiteis, have also demanded the withdrawal of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement with Kuki militant groups, the implementation of NRC in the state, and the strengthening of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).

MLAs oppose Kuki demand

In the memorandum, these MLAs opposed the demand for a separate administration by Kuki groups.

“For the immediate establishment of security, simple deployment of forces is inadequate. Although it is imperative to halt the violence in the peripheral areas, a complete disarmament is the key to achieve this goal. The entire state requires a complete disarmament to foster an environment of peace and security,” said the memorandum that was submitted to PM Modi on Wednesday.

Also read: Manipur violence: Tribal outfit meets Amit Shah, raises 5 key demands

“The confiscation of all weapons belonging to insurgent groups and illegal armed foreign forces and those snatched from the state machinery needs to be carried out. In this regard, the central security forces need to adopt a more proactive approach to ensure lasting peace in the region,” it added.

There have been numerous instances of farmers going out to work their fields, only to be fired upon by militants, the memorandum said.

“In many cases, these firing incidents have occurred in the presence of Central Security Forces which have failed to react appropriately, or react at all,” it claimed, demanding that Assam Rifles (9, 22 and 37) need to be transferred from their present location of deployment and “trustworthy central forces” along with state security can replace them to “neutralise and sanitise” all threats to peace, security and stability.

Demand for withdrawal of SoO agreement

The MLAs demanded the withdrawal of the SoO agreement with all those Kuki militant outfits who have violated the ground rules.

“There has been large-scale foreign infiltration with arms and ammunition into the state. So, the central forces should proactively engage with them. There has been a non-stop conflict between the State/Central forces and these insurgent armed groups in the state for the last 3 months,” the memorandum said.

Also read: ‘With folded hands’: Shah urges Kukis, Meitis to hold talks, end violence in Manipur

The MLAs also demanded the implementation of NRC in the state.

“The issue must be addressed politically in order to resolve this crisis of conflict. There are many options that can be explored. On one hand, to reassure the indigenous people of Manipur, the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) can be implemented in Manipur, sooner rather than later. Biometric registrations of immigrants have started, it should be expanded and strengthened,” said the memorandum.

“Separate administration unacceptable”

The MLAs said a separate administration, as demanded by Kuki groups, is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances.

“To reassure all communities, we may consider to strengthen the Autonomous District Council (ADC), and conduct of regular elections (which have not been taking place) to the Hill Area Committee (HAC) and the six existing Autonomous District Councils (ADCs),” they said.

After all these actions are taken, the necessary peace talks can be initiated to deliver a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis, they added.

Also read: Lip service for Manipur, poll rhetoric, whataboutery dominate no-confidence debate

Earlier, all 10 Kuki MLAs in the state cutting across party lines wrote to the Centre, seeking a separate administration for Kuki areas.

Naga-dominated areas of Manipur also witnessed a demonstration on Wednesday (August 9) against the state government seeking an early culmination of the Naga peace talks. The Naga groups earlier demanded a greater Nagaland.

Ethnic violence broke out in the state in May and has been continuing for the past three months, killing more than 160 people and leaving thousands homeless.

(With agency inputs)

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