State govt authorizes principal secy to sign SoO agreement with Kuki militants

With the state Cabinet giving its approval to the revised ground rules for suspension of operations, SoO, agreements with some Kuki militants operating in Manipur, a trilateral agreement is likely to be signed between the government of India, Manipur government and Kuki National Organisation, KNO, to formalize the SoO and effect cessation of hostilities, a highly placed source said today.

The Manipur government has authorized its principal secretary home to sign the agreement on behalf of the government of Manipur, the source disclosed adding that the state government will be responsible to enforce the agreed ground rules with the help and assistance of the CPOs, Assam Rifles and Army.

The Kuki National Organisation, KNO, comprises of 11 different Kuki based militant outfits. They are the Kuki National Army-KNA, Kuki National Front (Military Council)-KNF(MC), Kuki Naitonal Front (Zogam)-KNF(Z), United Socialist Revolutionary Army-USRA, Zou Defense Volunteers-ZDV, Zomi Revolutionary Force-ZRF, United Komrem Revolutionary Army-UKRA, United Komrem Revolutionary Army-UKRA, Hmar National Army-HMA, Kuki National Organisation, Kuki Liberation Army-KNO,KLA, KRA(U) and United All Kuki Liberation Army-UAKLA.

A trilateral agreement between the KNO, Manipur government and GOI is likely to be signed at the next round of talks which according to the source is likely to be held in New Delhi in the middle of the current month, August.

A Cabinet meeting of the Secular Progressive Front, SPF, under the chair of the state chief minister O Ibobi Singh held on July 29 had approved the revised ground rules of SoO with the KNO which will represent the 11 Kuki outfits, the source said.

Suspension of operation, SoO, agreement, mention may be made, has been in force between the Army and constituents of the United People’s Front (a body formed by different Kuki based militants outfit and KNO since August 1, 2005) but it was not recognized by the Manipur government as it has no agreeable ground rules.

Among others, the ground rules which were agreed to by the KNO also during the second round of talks held on July 14 and 15 last, included completely abjuring the path of violence by the KNO and not to engage in violent or unlawful activities like killing, injuries, kidnapping, ambush, extortions, intimidations, carrying of arms in public and imposing of “tax” or “fines”.

In turn, the security forces (the army, paramilitary forces and the state police) will not launch operations against the group as long as they abide by the agreement, the preamble of the agreement which was later given approval by the state Cabinet stated, the source disclosed.

A joint monitoring group to oversee the implementation of the SoO will be set up and the same will be headed by principal secretary, home department, government of Manipur and include the inspector general of police (intelligence), Manipur and representatives of ministry of home affairs, Central police organizations (CPOs) and army and the underground groups. The JMG will meet once in a month, it said.

The cadres of the groups will stay in designated camps and responsibility of the administration would be in their hands under the ground rules but the location and numbers of the designated camps will be decided by the JMG.

The designated camps will not be located close to populated areas and national highways, the approved agreement said adding that these camps should be located at a reasonable distance from the international border as well as inter-state boundaries.

Environmental security of the camps will be provided by the security force while cadres will protect their own camps under the approved agreement.

Issuance of the identity cards to the underground cadres, provision of a complete list of the cadres to the IG, Special Branch, Manipur police, to obtain prior approval from the nominated security forces or state police when cadres want to move out from its designated area are other norms to be followed by the underground under the SoO.

Cadres of outfits or cadres must also obtain prior permission while moving from one designated camp.

With regard to the weapons of the outfits, the approved agreement said that all will be deposited to the camps central armoury of the outfit with double locking system, with one key with the group and other with the concerned security forces, and record of the same will be made available to the police and maintained at the armoury.

No permission to carry weapons by a cadres individually or as group and non-recruitment of any fresh cadres or raising additional military/civil outfits/frontal organizations or trying to run its own sovereign government, not to carry out offensive operations like ambush, raid, sniping and attacks leading to death/injury/ damage or loss of property against the security forces, other groups and or the public are the conducts of cadres during the course of the SoO arrangements.

Even though the outfits can celebrate their raising day within the camp, they will not be allowed to construct memorials, hoist flags or carrying out parades of armed cadres, it said adding that the cadres will also not be allowed to move with uniforms with or without arms in public places and they also will not extend support to any other outfits which are not included in the SoO agreement.

In case of groups found violating the ground rules repeatedly, state government on the recommendation of the joint monitoring group, JMG would be free to terminate the SoO arrangements and also take appropriate action including use of force against the group.

For maintenance of the cadres in the designated camps, state government is to pay reasonable amount of money to the group. In addition, cadres will be provided vocational training at government expense. On their part, the group and its cadres will not accept donations in cash or kind, the approved agreement said.

The suspension of operations agreement will be initially for one year which may extended by mutual agreement.



About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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