IMPHAL, October 20: Altogether 18 militants belonging to seven different underground organizations have laid down their arms before Chief Minister Okram Ibobi today in a home coming ceremony held at HQ IGAR (South), Mantripukhri, Imphal.
The surrendered militants were 11 cadres of Kuki National Liberation Front (KNLF), namely army no. 1014 s/s Capt Lunkholal Lalboi Haokip alias Paominlen, s/o (late) Holmang Haokip of Moreh Ward No. 1, army no. 1007 s/s defence PRO Holkam, s/o Tilkosei of Songjei Churachandpur, army no. 1025 s/s Private Jamkholen Khongsai alias Lelen, s/o Thangkholun Khongsai of Waing Tubung, army no. 1023 s/s Private Jongkhohao Vaiphei alias HP, s/o (late) Helkosei Vaiphei of Moreh Ward No. 6, army no. 1004 s/s Corporal Letminthang Mate alias Garngam, s/o Zamkhathong Mate of Joupi Chandel, army no. 1027 s/s Private Thangjapao Haokip alias Golngei, s/o Shemkhoulun of Tubung, army no. 109 s/s Private Thangpao Mate, s/o Jamkholet Mate of Zoujang Moreh, army no. 1011 s/s Private Shonlen alias Lendou, s/o (late) Vumzathang of Vihipijang Sugnu, Chandel, army no. 1017 s/s rect officer Thangminlen Baite alias Minlen, s/o Hollet Baite of K Sabi Sugnu, Chandel, army no. 1009 s/s Private Lalpu Mate, s/o Ngamkhojang Kuki of Sahumpai Sugnu, and army no. 1008 s/s Lt Lhunthong Baite, s/o of Jithong Baite of K Sabi, Sugnu, one cadre of KCP (N), namely army no. 389 s/s L/Corporal M Jagat Singh, s/o M Ibocha of Nachou Mayai Leikai, Bishenpur, one cadre of UNLF, namely army no. 2124 s/s Pte Longjam Ratan, s/o Lokendra Singh of Toubal Awang, Bishenpur, one cadre of UPPK, namely army no. 2283 s/s L/Corporal Hemam Inao, s/o (late) Hemam Angou Singh of Moirang Khunou, Bishenpur, two cadres of PREPAK, namely army no. 18445 s/s Sgt Major Herojit, s/o Thingbaijam Rajmani of Lairik Yaang Awang Leikai, Imphal East and army no. 045 s/s Corporal Abung Meitei, s/o Basanta Meitei of Pukhao, Imphal East, one cadre of PLA, namely army no. 2371 s/s Corporal Jayenta Singh alias Tatun, s/o M Biramangol Singh of Wangkhei Awang Pallil, Imphal East, and one cadre of Pakan Reunification Army (PRA), namely army no. 012 s/s Private Apu Kom, s/o (late) Pon Kom of Mantak, Kakching.
The weapons surrendered by the militants included four AK-56 rifles, two AK-47 rifles, six 9 mm pistols, three .32 mm pistols and one each of 7.65 mm pistol, 2-inch mortar, M-16 rifle and radio set along with huge amount of ammunitions and magazines.
Welcoming the surrendered militants, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi stated that it would be futile to bring back the misguided youths to the mainstream if their rehabilitation process is not taken up. The society should give utmost support to the surrenderees and help them lead a normal life.
He also urged the authorities of Assam Rifles and Army to take the initiative for rehabilitation of surrendered militants under military civic action programme.
Chief Minister further assured that maximum efforts would be put in for proper rehabilitation of the UG cadres who have shunned the path of violence.
Ibobi also stated that the struggle based on ethnic identity coupled with the problem of economic development has posed serious constraints in the state. The continued blockade on national highways has created scarcity of essential commodities in the state persisting for the last more than two months, he noted.
Chief Minister stated the government has been trying to improve the living standard of people of the state through various developmental programmes. However, due to several disturbances and impediments, people are still unable to enjoy the benefits of development programmes, he reiterated.
He further maintained that no government can succeed to bring about a change without the support of the people. While all communities and groups may pursue their legitimate aspirations, there should not be any compromise on certain core developmental issues which touch the life of each and every individual, Ibobi added.
Chief Minister also lauded the efforts of IGAR (South) and Manipur Police.
IGAR (South), Maj Gen UK Gurung stated that more and more misguided youths are being encouraged to abjure violence, lay down arms and join the mainstream.
He appealed to the people to render utmost help and support to the surrendered militants to have a peaceful livelihood.
Gurung further asserted the surrendered militants will be a beacon light to other misled youths to follow the suit, paving way for peace and harmony in the state.
IGAR (South) also reiterated the commitment of Assam Rifles for ushering in an era of peace and prosperity in Manipur.
The home coming ceremony was also attended by deputy chairman of state planning board, Bijoy Koijam, DGP Manipur, Y Joykumar and SSP Imphal West L Kailun.