KNF excoriates `blame game` of Govt. on Sadar Hills issue

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IMPHAL, August 13: The Kuki National Front (KNF) today expressed their strong disagreement with the allegation and accusation imposed on them by the state government of backing the on-going blockades and strike on the issue of the Sadar hills district demand.

Speaking to media persons in this regards at a press conference held today at the Ebenezer designated camp, Natheljang, general secretary of the outfit, Aaron Kipgen, said that on August 6, the home commissioner, Manipur have summoned the leaders of the KNF and the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) for a special meeting at his office in the presence of joint secretary, home, the ADGP and the S.P (CID), special branch.

During the meeting the state representatives alleged the outfits that they have received reports of their involvement in the on-going Sadar Hills blockades.

“We have clarified that this is a public uprising and that we have no involvements on this” he asserted.

The KNF’s general secretary further informed that the state representatives further requested the outfits to abstain from backing the bandhs. He also added that the KNF has submitted a clean sheet to the chairman of the Joint monitoring group, Suspension of Operations on August 11 at the meeting of the JMG.

Inspite of all these efforts to keep the ongoing peace process intact, the state government openly accused the KNF of being a support centre, of the Sadar hills district demand imbroglio, he decried.

Aaron Kipgen further maintained that during the JMG meeting, the DGP even warned the KNF to relocate its cadres at 1st MR, Imphal during the bandh besides warning to refrain from extending the suspension of operation for KNF if it continues to render its support to the district demand related bandh. “There is no order from the organization’s supremo, the president and hence the organization has no involvement on the ongoing Sadar hills blockades” further added the KNF general secretary.

The KNF now considers this only as a “blame game” of the state trying to use the organization in defusing the mob, he alleged before terming it as irresponsible governance.

“We questioned why the state government is playing the blame game. The government has always blamed the KNF for any unlawful incident occurring along the NH-2 (formerly NH-39). The government of Manipur, as a responsible government should understand the sentiments of the people of Sadar hills and make settlements”, suggested Aaron Kipgen.

Stating that the issue of Sadar Hills is not an “integrity” issue rather a public uprising provoked due to the indifferent attitude of the government, the KNF, appeals the state government to kindly stop charging the organization on this issue for the sake of the on going peace process with the Kuki militant groups.

It further reiterated that the organization’s political objective is a bigger issue, statehood (Kukiland) since 1987 and cannot be compared to the demands of districthood.

The KNF secretary while informing that the Suspension of Operation (SoO) expires on August 21, asserted that the SoO agreement will be further extended on August 16 during a meeting in the national capital.

While responding to queries on the development of the much hyped political dialogue of the signatory groups under the SoO, the KNF general secretary stated that the Kuki militants especially the KNF is looking forward to that however informed that there was no immediate stipulation on the issue.

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