Tension in Chandel over govt plan to open KCP rehabilitation camp

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IMPHAL, Nov13: Public tensions in Chandel district headquarters remains high since this morning over information that surrendered militants belonging to the underground KCP would be kept inside the 8th MR complex Leikun village in Chandel district by the state government.

The militants were escorted by security forces from Imphal today.

Villagers belonging to various tribal communities in Chandel district headquarters came out on the streets this morning around 8 am and gathered along the main street and demonstrated their objection to the state government policy of keeping the surrendered militants at the recently opened rehabilitation centre inside the campus of 8th MR Leikun which is about 4 km North east of the Chandel district head quarter.

Several hundreds villagers headed by their elders and representatives of the different civil society organizations volunteered to came out along the main street of Chandel on the receipt of information that about 160 surrendered militants belonging to KCP were about to be escorted up to 8th MR Leikun today.

The villagers coordinated among themselves and gathered at different locations beginning from Pallel upto Leikun and Japhou bazar since early this morning to prevent the security forces escorting the surrendered militants to Leikun.

Shops and main market at Chandel district headquarters also remained closed for whole day to mark the protest.

Later, with no sign of the surrendered militants arriving with security forces at Leikun till afternoon, the public gathered at Japhou bazaar and organized a public meeting during which the people reaffirmed their stands to imposed restriction on keeping of surrendered militants at the recently opened rehabilitation centre at 8th MR Leikun, which was already intimated to the state government by way of submitting memorandum through concern deputy commissioner and district superintendent of police.

In the meantime, several village leaders and representatives of the different civil society organizations of Chandel district while deliberating during the public meeting held this afternoon at Zaphou bazaar mentioned that the people of Chandel are now in apprehension of possibilities of normal and peaceful life becoming adversely affected if the surrendered militants arrive at Leikun 8th MR complex.

They further mentioned that it was very unfortunate on the part state government to attempt to keep surrendered militants inside the Leikun without considering the people’s sentiments and further condemned the state government for its failure to consult with the people of the district before the state government adopted the policy.

They said the people would agitate until and unless the state government has withdrawn its decision to keep the surrendered militants inside the campus of 8th MR campus.

The public meeting decided to carry out 24 hours vigils along the Pallel to Chandel district head quarter road to prevent escorting in of surrendered militants by the security forces into 8th MR campus from this evening and will continue until the government policy is withdrawn.

It may be mentioned that about 160 cadres belonging to one of the under ground KCP factions surrendered to the government following the entering of Suspension of Operation between the government during the first week of August last soon after the tripartite talks consisting of official representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India, state government and leaders of the outfit during August.

On the other hand, all surrendered militants after a short stay under the protection of Assam Rifles soon after they surrendered to the government, were further sent for three months military basic course training at Rajasthan and with the completion of the said basic military courses they were returning to the state for further rehabilitation programme.

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