Political talks set to begin with Kuki groups

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IMPHAL, January 3:The Working on the modalities to begin political dialogues with the two umbrella organisations of the Kuki militant outfits–Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the United People`s Front (UPF) has started today. The talks were held at First Manipur Rifles Ground Banquet Hall in Imphal where the UPF leaders first met the government representatives at around 2:30 pm which concluded at 3:30 pm. The UPF leaders said today`s talk was more on the matter pertaining to the interlocutor of the talks. The UPF leaders expressed optimism that they would go soon to New Delhi to begin the political talks.KNO spokesman Dr Seilen Haokip said today`s meeting with the government representatives was `informal`. “We will submit our formal proposal in written tomorrow (Friday) to the government regarding to whom the government should appoint as the interlocutor,” Dr Seilen Haokip added.

Additionally, the United People’s Front (UPF) an umbrella group of 6 Kuki armed groups and a signatory of the Suspension of Operations with the Government of Manipur has announced that the group has started with its   first political dialogue with the state and the centre government today. This was stated  by the Convenor of the (UPF) Arron Kipgen  while briefing media persons today evening.

According to Arron Kipgen, “The political talk was held in the presence of IAS Sambhu Singh, Joint Secretary Northeast in charge, Minister of Home Affairs.” He further said that a serious discussion was held between the government and the UPF representatives where ground modalities for the forthcoming talks were discussed. ” The Government of India is in the process of appointing an interlocutor to mediate between the Government and the UPF,” Arron said while thanking both the state and the central governments for their relentless effort and initiative to resolve the political issue of the hills people of the state.

He continued saying that the meeting was attended by Dr J Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary Home Department, L M Khaute, Additional Director General of Police and SP/CID(SB) Manipur Achin from the state government and a team of UPF delegates headed by Convenor Arron  Kipgen himself.

Asked about the main demand of the UPF, he said that the Kukis deamand for an autonomous hills district within the state Manipur is legitimate.

Meanwhile, an official source has said that Former Director of IB, P C Haldar has been appointed Interlocutor for talks with the UPF and the KNO.

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