Dy CM to press Shinde for early talks with Kukis

Published on November 16, 2012

IMPHAL, Nov 16: Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam will meet Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Saturday (November 17) to press for the early start of dialogue with the two umbrella organisations of Kuki militants, viz, United Peoples’ Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) who are engaging in Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the government.

Talking to Newmai News Network over phone from New Delhi this evening, Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam who also holds the home portfolio, government of Manipur said, “I’m here in New Delhi today to meet the Central leaders. I will meet the honourable Union home minister tomorrow to press for the starting of talks with UPF and KNO at the earliest date possible.”

The deputy chief minister of Manipur further said the state government of Manipur has been putting up its sincere effort in this approach. “So, I would like to appeal to all concerns to reconsider their decision of calling blockade in the interest of the people,” appeals Gaikhangam. The deputy chief minister expressed his optimism that the Central government will start the dialogue soon with the Kuki militant organisations.

On the other hand, Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) secretary Benjamin Mate and its information secretary George Guite informed in negative when queried by Newmai News Network whether the government has sent any feelers. “No feelers from the government side. We will go ahead with the agitation,” said George Guite.

“Only after a written assurance is given by the Government of India that the process of political dialogue with Kukis, involving KSDC and Kuki militants, would begin within a predetermined date, then only we may review our stand,” asserted Benjamin Mate.

The indefinite “public blockade” in all the highways passing through “Kuki areas” was announced on November 12 by the Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) in demand ‘for a separate Kuki state to be carved out of Kuki traditional lands incorporated within the present day Manipur.

It can be noted here that on November 2, Kuki National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella organisation of more than 10 Kuki militant outfits had asserted that it demands a separate Kuki state in Manipur under the Constitution of India. The KNO then said it had taken a decision to abrogate the Suspension of Operation (SoO) if the government does not hold dialogue with it by November 22.

Addressing a strong posse of journalists on November 2 at Press Club of India, New Delhi, spokesman of KNO SeilenHaokip had said that the lands of the Kukis were never under the Meitei kings, and the land ownership system has always been under the Kuki chiefs.

Until there is a political solution for the Kukis in Manipur, the chieftainship system should not be abolised, the KNO leader had asserted. Seilen Haokip then said that the KNO had already taken a decision to abrogate the SoO if the government does not begin political talks by November 22, 2012 to find solutions to the Kuki political issues in Manipur.

“If there is no political dialogue even after signing the SoO, then there is no point in staying at the designated camps set up on the basis of the SoO agreement. The KNO will have no other options but to go back to the jungle and continue its armed struggle against the state government and the government of India”, the KNO spokesman had stated.

Source: Newmai News Network

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