KNF deposits arms as precursor to peace dialogue

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Source: Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 15: The Kuki National Front (KNF) has today deposited arms to the concerned governments at the designated camp located at Natheljang, under Sadar Hills, with the motive to start a political dialogue.

During the deposition process, Brigadier of the 59 Mountain Brigade, Anil Chauhan, represented the GOI, SP Senapati Nishit Kumar Ujjwal represented the state government, while Aaron Kipgen, General Secretary of the outfit represented the KNF.

Altogether 49 arms including ammunitions were deposited and kept under double lock. The rest are meant for security purpose of the camps and leaders and the exact figure was not disclosed for security reasons.

While clarifying on the demands, the General Secretary of the KNF, Aaron Kipgen said that the demand for ‘Kukiland or Kuki state’ does not mean that all the Kuki inhabited areas fall under it adding for that purpose the outfit have sketched a map of their own.

He maintained that the Kukis have been safeguarding their own homelands (hill areas) since time immemorial and what they are demanding is recognition of their homelands as a separate autonomous state, he added.

The General Secretary of the KNF also asserted that they are pressing the concerned authority to start the political dialogue at the earliest and hinted that it might be possible within four months time. 

Brigadier Anil Chauhan while briefing the media persons complimented the KNF for having agreed with the arms deposition which is a part of the suspension of operation.

According to him, the step taken by the KNF is a bench mark for other groups under the SoO. It is an end for the conflict and a beginning for peace and the day is very important, he said.

Further, the brigadier said the arms will be kept under a double locker of which one key will be handed over to the nearest police station while the other will be with the KNF. Regarding the number of arms deposition, the Brigadier said as the matter of the security of the camps and the security of the JMG members it is the responsibility of the outfit, while the rest of the weapons should be deposited.

The arms deposition began from early morning and lasted till in the evening around 5 pm. The process involved registration and verification of the cadres, taking photographs of the cadres and deposition etc.

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