IMPHAL, May 16: State chief minister O Ibobi Singh is leaving for New Delhi tomorrow to meet the Union home minister and discuss the suspension of operation with Kuki militants for which the state Cabinet has approved the revised ground rules in a Cabinet meeting held on April 21.
A Cabinet meeting held today prior to the chief minister’s visit to the national capital discussed the ground rules of the SoO as well as the “tripartite talks” with the Kuki militant groups, the state government and Central government as participants.
The Cabinet also decided to launch a new scheme called ‘State Merit Scholarship Scheme’ in which Rs. 1000 would be given to 300 students for three years in order of merit from first position holders in the XII class examination commencing from this current year.
The chief minister who is leaving Imphal tomorrow for New Delhi will hold talks with the Union home minister and top officials of the MHA and discuss the ground rules for SoO again.
Mention may be made that the SoO is currently in force between the Central security forces and some Kuki militants under UPF and KNO.
After the chief minister’s meeting with the Union home minister, another round of official level meeting between the officials of the state government and MHA will be held, the source said.
Mention may be made that the state Cabinet in one of the meetings on February 2 this year approved the revised ground rules for suspension of operation, SoO and later conveyed it to the MHA on April 4.
The Kuki National Organization, KNO which earlier said it would not take part in meetings chaired by the Manipur government representatives, later conveyed their willingness to go ahead with the ‘tripartite talks’ with the government of India and government of Manipur.
Regarding KNO’s stand, the MHA joint secretary, north east also held talks with the state chief secretary.
In this regard, the first meeting chaired by the representatives of the Union ministry of home affairs was held in a hotel at New Delhi in which the state principal secretary (home) and inspector general of police (intelligence) attended from the Manipur government side.
On the same day, separate meetings were held with the representatives of KNO and United People’s Front, an apex body of some Kuki militants which are maintaining SoO with the Central security forces in the state.
In that meetings, the ground rules of suspension of operation approved by the state Cabinet were given to KNO and UPF representatives.
Another round of meeting is scheduled to be held within the next few days chaired by a Manipur government’s representative and to be attended by the representatives of KNO, UPF and MHA officials. The comment of the KNO and UPF on the revised ground rules are likely to be taken here.
The next round of meeting as informed by the joint secretary, NE, MHA to the state government will be hosted by the MHA and will be chaired by a representative of the Manipur government
The Cabinet on April 21 had decided to depute the state chief secretary, DGP and IGP (intelligence) to represent the state government in the second meeting to be convened by the ministry of home affairs.
Today’s Cabinet also decided to launch a new scheme ‘State Merit Scholarship Scheme’ which will give scholarships worth Rs. 1000 per month for three years to 300 students securing highest marks.
The scholarship is to be given as a part of the state government’s encouragement to the students and to help them in further study.
The Cabinet also discussed the demand of the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur and decided to press for the percentage reservation of the tribals and schedule castes in the Manipur University which was in force before it was taken by the Centre.
Mention may be made the ASTUM imposed economic blockade in regard to their demand is due to end by 6 am tomorrow (May 17).
Regarding their demand. representatives of the ASTUM held a meeting with the chief minister today. Further talks will be held tomorrow before the chief minister leaves Imphal, a source said.
Imphal Free Press