IMPHAL, February 13: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India and the Manipur Government have signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with three militant groups which have surrendered to the government of Manipur through three different battalions of Assam Rifles along with arms.
The MoU was signed during a function at the banquet hall of the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles.
The function organized by the Home Department, Government of Manipur was attended by Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam as chief guest and president respectively.
Ministers I Hemochandra, Abdul Nasir, Govindas Konthoujam, Francis Ngajokpa, Phunjathang Tonsing and DGP Y Joykumar, IG (Assam Rifles) and senior officers of Assam Rifles, Army and the high ranking officials of the State Police Department also attended the function.
Opening the function, Principal Secretary (Home) Dr J Suresh Babu said, that the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India and the state government have been making intense efforts to bring various insurgent groups operating in Manipur to engage in the peace process.
“Over the last one year, the efforts made by the government have yielded results,” he said and added that the Assam Rifles under IGAR, General Gurung and the Army under IGAR under GOCS General Ponnen and General Sinha and the State Police played a key role in mobilizing the cadres.
“The Commanding Officers of 30 AR Col Vedpal and 42 AR Col Chawla and their commanders played a key role along with state police department in mobilizing and hosting the groups over the last few months.” he added.
Shambu Singh, Joint Secretary (NE) of Ministry of Home affairs said that DGP Y Joukumar had extended a great help to the effort in bringing about the occasion.
He appealed to the other groups to join the peace process while adding that it would help development works.
Lanheiba alias Khwairakpam Gopendro, Chairman of United revolutionary Front (URF) said that peace is in all of us and we should be able to bring it about to others.
City Meitei alias Naorem Brojen Meitei chief of Army, KCP, Lamphel said that he and his cadres came forward to surrender arms because they want peace and saw the development works taken up by the government of India and the Government of Manipur.
Maisanma Achouba, president, KYKL/MDF disclosed that his group had signed an agreement with Principal Secretary (Home) Dr. N Suresh Babu on October 27, 2012.
He continued that war has been waged for more 20 years but there is no change.
In view of it he came forward and entered the mainstream. Saying that his party is a KYKL faction, he asserted that the group might join the revolution again if they were not treated well.
Speaking at the function as the chief guest, the CM Okram Ibobi said that the home coming ceremony held at 1st MR was the most symbolic function. “They have come forward surrendering arms as they believed in the national mainstream and the Indian constitution. Considering that all of us are one and brothers, we do not consider them as enemies as they were misled for sometime,” he said while adding that `Forgive and forget`, should be practiced.
The CM continued that his main concern was to work for the proper rehabilitation of the surrenderees, for which he would discuss with the Government of India. He also appealed to all other revolutionary groups to come forward. He further informed that for rehabilitation purpose, each surrenderee will be paid an amount of Rs 2, 50, 000/- which will be kept in a fixed deposit in the name of the cadre that will be paid with interest to the cadre after a locking period of two years.
The cadres would also be given a monthly salary of Rs 4,000 for a period of two years with the government will making efforts to construct designated camps.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said on the ocassion that the home coming function is a ray of hope and a ray of peace while terming the signing of MoU as Marching ahead towards peace and development in the state.
Shambu Singh, Joint Secretary (NE), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) who represented Government of India and Dr J Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Home) representing Manipur Government,signed the MoU, a statement issued by the state Home Department said. Khwairakpam Gopendro Singh alias Lanheiba (chairman), Puiyam Mangiyaima Meitei alias Ruhini Meitei (secretary, home affairs) and Ngangom Soviet Meitei alias Chingkheinganba Meitei signed the MoU On behalf of URF.
On behalf of KCP (Lamphel), Naorem Brojen Meitei alias City Meitei, Chief of army and Taibanganba alias Dilip, Joint secretary signed it and Maisnam Athouba, president and Laimayum Ronel Sharma alias Achouba, General secretary signed the MoU on behalf of KYKL (MDF).
Manipur Home Department in a statement further said that according to the MoU signed with the leaders of the three militant outfits, they will bring all their cadres along with weapons within 90 days of signing of the MoU.
The ceremony was participated by a total of 197 cadres, including leaders of the three outfits. 90 cadres of URF, 67 cadres of KYKL (MDF) have already reported to the temporary designated camps and 40 cadres of KCP (Lamphel).
The groups also surrendered to the state Government during the ceremony along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition. URF cadres displayed 7 AK-47 rifles, 16 9mm pistols, i6 7.65 pistols, 4 lethod guns, 3 RPG, M-16-2, M-04-2 to the media. Arms which KCP/Lamphel cadres displayed to the media included 3 AK-47 rifles, 13 9mm pistols, 4 point 32 pistols, 1 lethod gun. 1 SLR, 5 grenades while KYKL/MDF displayed 3 AK-56 rifles, 2 AK-47 rifles, 3 9mm rifles, 1 point 32 rifle, 11 9mm curbinea, 6 9mm pistols, 18 7.65 pistols, 4 point 32 pistols, 1 9mm revolver, 3 lethod guns, 1 SBL, 1 Air Pistol and 1 shot gun.