A group of forty MLAs from violence-hit Manipur has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, emphasising the need for complete disarmament in the state in a bid to promote peace and security in the region.
These MLAs, who are mostly from the Meitei community, have also called for the withdrawal of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) Agreement with Kuki militant groups, the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Manipur, and the strengthening of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs).
In the memorandum, the MLAs expressed their opposition to the demand for a separate administration by Kuki groups.
The memorandum, submitted to PM Modi on Wednesday (9 August), stated that simply deploying forces is insufficient for the immediate establishment of security.
The MLAs stressed that complete disarmament is essential to achieve the goal of ending violence in peripheral areas and creating an environment of peace and security throughout the entire state.
"Although it is imperative to halt the violence in the peripheral areas, a complete disarmament is the key to achieve this goal. The entire state requires a complete disarmament to foster an environment of peace and security,” said the memorandum, reports Indian Express.
“The confiscation of all weapons belonging to insurgent groups and illegal armed foreign forces and those snatched from the state machinery needs to be carried out. In this regard, the central security forces need to adopt a more proactive approach to ensure lasting peace in the region,” it added.
According to the memorandum, there have been numerous incidents where militants have fired upon farmers while they were going out to work in the fields.
The memorandum claims that in many cases, these firing incidents have occurred in the presence of Central Security Forces, who have "failed to react appropriately, or react at all".
It demanded that Assam Rifles (9, 22 and 37) need to be transferred from their present location of deployment and “trustworthy Central forces” along with state security can replace them to “neutralise and sanitise” all threats to peace, security and stability.
The MLAs have also requested the withdrawal of the SoO agreement with Kuki militant outfits who have violated the ground rules.
“There has been large scale foreign infiltration with arms and ammunition into the state. So, the Central forces should proactively engage with them," the memorandum said.
It added that over the past three months, there has been ongoing conflict between the State/Central forces and these insurgent armed groups in the state.
In addition, the MLAs demanded the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state.
To address the crisis of conflict, the memorandum suggests that a political solution is necessary.
"There are many options that can be explored. On one hand, to reassure the indigenous people of Manipur, the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) can be implemented in Manipur, sooner rather than later. Biometric registrations of immigrants have started, it should be expanded and strengthened," said the memorandum.
However, the MLAs stated that the demand for a 'separate administration' by Kuki groups is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.
“To reassure all Communities, we may consider to strengthen the Autonomous District Council (ADC), and conduct of regular elections (which have not been taking place) to the Hill Area Committee (HAC) and the six existing Autonomous District Councils (ADCs),” they said.
Once these measures have been implemented, they suggested that peace talks can be initiated to find a lasting solution to the ongoing crisis.
Earlier, all 10 Kuki MLAs in the state, regardless of party affiliation, had written to the Centre, requesting a separate administration for Kuki areas.
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