KNF to deposit arms to begin talks

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IMPHAL, Sept, 14: The Kuki National Front (KNF) is all set to deposit arms under double locker tomorrow to start a political settlement in a peaceful way.
According to its president who spoke at a press conference today, the KNF will be the first Kuki militant among the signatories groups under the Suspension of Operation to deposit arms under double locker.

The arms depositing ceremony will be held tomorrow at the Ebenezer Peace Camp (designated camp) at Natheljang, Sadar Hills, he said.

The KNF which is under the United Peoples’ Front (UPF), an umbrella organization of the Kuki militants, is one of the oldest Kuki militant group fighting for a separate Kuki state.

In his maiden appearance to the media, the president of the KNF, ST Thangboi today gave his clarification in connection with the proposed arms deposit said “We have waited 23 years for this opportunity, so we are thankful to the Government of India and also to the state government’.

‘This is my maiden appearance to the media and this will be our landmark in the history of the Kuki Revolutionary movement”, Thangboi said.

Further the KNF president asserted that most of the cadres of the outfit have reached the designated camp from different locations and subsequently deposite arms tomorrow.

“I would like to clarify to all the Kuki people, the state, Government of India and to the world that this is not a surrender or submission of arms. We are only depositing our arms under a double locker for the sake of peace and political settlement for the Kukis and we strongly believe this will be a harbinger of Kuki political solution”, Thangboi asserted.

The KNF leader made a two point appeal to the central and state government that KNF as the mother organization is taking the first initiative for entering the designated camp. Hence, the state should make sure that all the other Suspension of Operation (SoO) groups follow the same pattern for the sake of peace and political talk and the state should not change its status-qou. He also said the Government of India should appoint a joint secretary level interlocutor for the Kukis as the first step for political talk with the Government of India.

It has been reported that the outfit has strength of about 370 cadres and about 150 cadres have so far been accepted for the designated camp at Sadar Hills.

The major step was part of the ground rules set under the SoO signed between the government and the Kuki militant groups. The SoO recently has been extended for another year in the middle part of August this year.

The KNF president revealed that considering the security of the leaders and camps, KNF cadres will keep vigil at the vicinity of the camp.

In response to a question asked about setting up of a Kuki regiment, the KNF president said the KNF is not concerned and the outfit has no knowledge about forming a regiment.

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