Imphal: While reviewing the law and order situation in various districts in view of the rallies held in
Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts on Saturday, the Cabinet decided to withdraw
the State Government from the tripartite talks/SoO agreements with two hill-based insurgent groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) whose leaders hail from
outside the State. The State Cabinet in its meeting noted that the rallies were organised for a cause which is unconstitutional and the rallies therefore were illegal.
After having a detailed deliberation, the Cabinet decided to withdraw the State Government from the tripartite talks/SoO agreements with two hill-based insurgent groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army(ZRA) whose leaders hail from outside the State.
The Cabinet further 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 have been issued to DC and SPs of Churachandpur and Tengnoupal for allowing the rally in violation of prohibitory orders under CrPC 144. Strong action will be taken against those officers responsible for lapses in security.Meanwhile, the Kuki National Organisation, one of the umbrella organisations of the Kuki UGs, an entity of the tripartite talk with the Government of India and the Government of Manipur stated that the decision of the State Cabinet to withdraw KNA and ZRA from Suspension of Operations (SoO) contradicted the very essence of the agreement.
Mention may be made that following the peace rally held in various parts of the hill districts on March 10, and a clash that took place with police in Kangpokpi district, the Cabinet reviewed the law and order
situation in various districts. The Cabinet led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday evening also decided to withdraw from tripartite talks with two militant groups, the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the
Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA).However, the Kuki National Organisation, stated that the Cabinet decision contradicted the very essence of the Suspension of Operations, which since its inception in 2008, has ushered huge peace dividends in the hills of the State.
Joint Secretary, Information and Publicity of KNO, Stephen Kuki stated that the primary purpose of signing SoO in 2008 was to create an atmosphere conducive for amicable political dialogue among the Government of India, the Government of Manipur, and the two umbrella organisations, Kuki National
Organisation (KNO) and the United People’s Front (UPF).
He also stated that the progress made in the course of dialogue from 2019 till date is commendable, given that settlement is sought within the Constitutional framework of India and within the state of Manipur. With regards to the peace rally held on March 10, the KNO leader stated that the Indigenous
Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) organised a peaceful march in protest against the Government of Manipur not following proper procedure concerning the declaration of parts of the Scheduled Areas as Reserved Forest,Protected Forest, Protected Sites, and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
Citing an example, the KNO leader pointed out that K.Songjang village is a Gazetted village within
the Kungpi Naosen village area recognized in 1926, but was evicted on February 20, 2023.
To air public grievance, the ITLF organised a peaceful march on March 10, which went off successfully
with a memorandum submitted to the state Governor and the Chief Minister of Manipur, he added.
On the CM’s statement in a Northeast Live interview, the KNO leader stated that Chief Minister N.
Biren Singh made a statement that the Kuki National Army (KNA) and Zo Revolutionary Army (ZRA)
are catalysts of the peaceful march, along with allegations of promoting poppy cultivation; and lastly,
the issue of nationality of PS Haokip and Thanglianpau, respectively leaders of KNA and ZRA, on
which account the State Cabinet took a decision to withdraw the two organisations from Suspension of
Concerning the question of nationality, the KNO leader clarified that it would suffice to state that PS
Haokip is a citizen of India, born at Akhan village in Phek District of Nagaland while Thanglianpau was
formerly a Member of Parliament from the National League of Democracy, Myanmar, but has acquired
Regarding poppy cultivation, Stephen Kuki stated that KNO has extensively engaged in the eradication
of Poppy since 2016, and the government’s active role in this endeavour as of 2022 has also contributed
positively – that which KNO alone was unable to by itself has now been achieved with greater success.
This demonstrated a positive outcome owing to collective engagement concerning issues of common
good, he added.