Current Affairs

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Holds Peace Meet With Kukis, Likely To Visit Manipur Again Soon

Swarajya Staff

Jun 13, 2023, 11:49 AM | Updated 11:46 AM IST

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (right) meeting Manipur CM last week.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (right) meeting Manipur CM last week.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma met leaders of Kuki militant and ethnic outfits at his office in Guwahati late Sunday (11 June) evening. 

Sarma is learnt to have appealed to the representatives of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the United People’s Front (UPF) — the umbrella bodies of Kuki militant outfits — to ask their cadres to desist from violence. 

According to highly-placed sources, the Assam Chief Minister also appealed to the Kuki outfits to desist from inciting members of the Kuki community to attack Meiteis. 

Sarma promised them that a political solution to their demands for a separate Kuki state will be found, but a return to peace and cessation of violence are essential prerequisites for that. 

The Kuki representatives listed various grievances of the community and cited instances of the biased attitude and actions of the state government. They categorically told Sarma that they have little faith in the Manipur police and the state administration under Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

The Assam Chief Minister is learnt to have impressed upon them that it is necessary for one side to exercise restraint in a conflict in order to give peace a chance. 

Representatives of the KNO and UPF told Sarma that they had no faith in the state government and it would be futile to respond to any peace initiative by the Biren Singh government which, they categorically said, is “anti-Kuki”. 

Chief Minister Sarma then promised the Kuki bodies that he will visit the Kuki-dominated Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts to hold talks with Kuki civil society organisations and community leaders.

KNO spokesperson Seilen Haokip said Monday that the talks with the Assam Chief Minister were “very positive” and “headed in the right direction”.

Haokip said they understood and appreciated Sarma’s position that there should be cessation of hostilities from both sides to create a climate conducive for holding talks on the political demands of the Kukis. 

The KNO and UPF said they have faith in the Assam CM and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. 

Chief Minister Sarma was on a day-long visit to Manipur on Saturday (10 June). He had met his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh, senior state ministers, legislators and civil society organisations, including the powerful Meitei body — Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (CONCOMI). 

Chief Minister Sarma, who is the convenor of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), has been requested by the Union Home Minister to help in the task of restoring peace in Manipur.

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