IMPHAL, August 19: “Somewhere along the road, we lost the trust of the public. Without the co-operation from the public, a revolution can never succeed. The peace talk is an initiative to win back the trust”, Lalheiba Meitei, acting chairman of United Revolutionary Front said.
It may be recalled here, Lalheiba Meitei had claimed responsibility for a string of bomb blasts including the Ragailong blast which killed 17 people and the bomb plant at Imphal Raj Bhavan.
URF is an umbrella organization compromising of Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) factions namely Lalheiba group, Chingkheinganba, Sunil (MTF), Lamyanba Khuman and KK Nganba.
Two other factions, Kesho Meitei and Ibungo Ngangom group are also likely to join the process and participate in the tripartite peace talks, Lalheiba added.
The press meet was held at the backdrop of a blood donation campaign jointly organized by the 30 Assam Rifles and the URF at Khurkhul Spinning Mill, Imphal West yesterday.
The obsolete Mill presently houses personnel of the 30th Assam Rifles and about a hundred cadres of the URF.
A total of 50 individuals from both parties donated blood at the mentioned camp. Banners which read “We love the Country as much”, “Blood can save others” were displayed in the mentioned premise.
On being questioned on the URF’s motive for conducting the peace talks, Lalheiba stated that he was caught by security personnel from Assam on June 28, 2011. Later, while in prison, he was approached by authorities urging to initiate a ceasefire.
“ I did not agree at first, but after observing the result of the last held general election, I discussed with my colleagues and decided to go ahead with the talks”, he added that the Centre was represented by Home Jt Secretary ,Shambhu Singh and Principal Secretary (Home) Suresh Babu from the State government’s side.
The first round of talks was held on March 23 last and there have been two subsequent discussions since. The URF put up a 31 point charter of demands to the Government representatives which included demand of arable land to be provided for the cadres.
“We believe that a green revolution has to be initiated first for propagating work culture in the State and to create a self sustainable economy”, he added that there were no preconditions made to the group from either State or Central government before commencement of the peace talks.
The URF has a total strength of 470 cadres and nearly a hundred are presently stationed at Khurkhul. Lalheiba mentioned that there is no need for all the cadres to arrive at the AR post at the present juncture. “We will shelter the total strength once the designated camps are constructed , some possible locations in Imphal West and Imphal East have already been identified”, he however maintained that the Government must act with transparency for a successful cease fire agreement. The acting Chairman mentioned that an interim tripartite agreement is to be signed shortly.
“We have gone through rigorous hardships, spent most of our lives in the jungle with a certain objective. I feel that peace and normalcy should be restored in Manipur, it is an honour to give our blood for the benefit of the public”, he commented during the Blood donation camp. The acting Chairman was the first person to donate.
The conference was attended by URF Home Secretary, Rohini Meitei and Chief Central Finance, Chingkheinganba.