Exclusive | 68 militants surrender on I-Day eve in Manipur

Sunzu Bachaspatimayum

Imphal, August 14: In what could be said as a major achievement of the government in Manipur, 68 hardcore militants, belonging to different proscribed armed outfits surrendered with their arms to Manipur Chief Minister on Monday ahead of Independence Day.

Among the surrendered militants four were women cadres and included 23 KCP cadres, 17 UNLF, 10 PREPAK, 7 PREPAK (Pro), 7 PLA/RPF and 4 KYKL cadres laid down their arms before the Chief Minister.

Speaking at the simple homecoming ceremony held at the 1st Manipur Rifles, Banquet Hall in Imphal, Chief Minister N Biren Singh lauded the former militants for their wise decision of coming forward to join the mainstream.

The Chief Minister revealed that his government has proposed revised Surrender cum Rehabilitation Policy to the government of India and would soon be approved. He also said a Nodal Officer will soon be appointed to look into their welfare.

“In today’s world, violence cannot achieve anything. It is only through negotiation that grievances can be addressed. Therefore I laud your courage and welcome you home. I also appeal to those who are still in the jungle to come forward and join the mainstream. I assure you that my government would look into all your needs and work for your welfare. The government will also appoint a Nodal Officer to supervise and monitor your needs and care” said Biren Singh.

Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar Singh, Minister for Health and Family Welfare L. Jayantakumar Singh, Minister for CAF&PD K. Shyam, Minister for Education Th. Radheshyam, Minister for IFCD Letpao Haokip, Minister for Agriculture V. Hangkhanlian, Chairman of Hill Areas Committee T.T. Haokip, Parliamentary Secretaries Sapam Ranjan, K. Robindro, Chief Secretary R. R. Rashmi, DGP L.M. Khaute, IGAR (South), IG CRPF, top civil and police officers attended the homecoming ceremony.

Meanwhile 9 NSCN IM cadres were apprehended by a combined team of central security agency in Tamenglong district.  Shortly after the incident, Tamenglong bazar was shutdown with NSCN IM supports pressing for the unconditional release of the 9 cadres.

Although a peace-pact is in force between NSCN IM and the government of India, the peace deal does not officially exist in Manipur.  On the other hand, there exist a handful of unofficial designated NSCN IM camps in the hills district of Manipur, particularly in Ukhrul district, Chandel district, Senapati District and Tamenglong district.