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Manipur govt withdraws from tripartite deal with militant outfits

Manipur govt withdraws from tripartite deal with militant outfits

Imphal, March 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Manipur government has withdrawn from the tripartite talks and Suspension of Operations (SoO) signed with Kuki National Army (KNA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), two underground tribal militant outfits in the northeastern state, with immediate effect, officials said on Saturday.

It was reported that the cadres of KNA and ZRA are instigating the poppy cultivators in the state against the government, which has been taking action against illegal poppy cultivators, and destroying poppy fields in the forest lands, specially in the reserve and protected forests.


Frid'y's protests rallies against the state government on this count in three districts were also allegedly backed by KNA and ZRA militants.

A senior Manipur government official said that the Cabinet at a late night meeting on Friday decided to withdraw from the tripartite talks and SoO agreement signed with KNA and ZRA, and the Government of India.

The leaders of KNA and ZRA hail from outside the state, the official said.

The Manipur government took the decision after violent protests were staged by the civilians in different parts of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts on Friday against state government's crackdown on poppy cultivation.

The Centre and Manipur government had signed the tripartite agreement and SoO with KNA and ZRA on August 22, 2008.

Under the SoO agreement, several hundred KNA and ZRA militants had come overground. However, the Union government is yet to come to the negotiating table.

The Cabinet meeting on Friday night chaired by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh reviewed the law and order situation in the state after the protest rallies held earlier in the day at Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts.

"The Cabinet noted that the rallies were organised for a cause which is unconstitutional and therefore the rallies were illegal. The Cabinet also reaffirmed that the government will not compromise on the steps taken to protect the state's forest resources and for eradicating poppy cultivation," an official statement said.

The state government has also served show-cause notices to the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of Churachandpur and Tengnoupal districts for allowing the rallies in violation of prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144.

"Strong action would be taken against the officers responsible for the lapse in security," the statement said.

While the district authorities in Churachandpur and Tengnoupal allowed the protest rallies, the same in Kangpokpi district was prevented by the authorities leading to the clashes, in which at least four policemen and 10 civilians were injured.

As part of the 'War Against Drug Mission', the Manipur government has been destroying poppy fields and evicting the settlers from the reserved and protected forest areas.

Source: IANS

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Manipur govt withdraws from tripartite deal with militant outfits

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