IMPHAL, May 24: Rebel group United People’s Party of Kangleipak (UPPK) today signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Central and Manipur Governments joining the peace process during a home coming ceremony in Imphal at 1st Battalion of Manipur Rifles.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, Deputy CM Gaikhangam who also holds the portfolio of Home, Minister I Hemochandra, Dr. Kh Ratankumar, Ngamthang Haokip, AK. Mirabai, Md. Abdul Nasir, Parliamentary Secretary Vungzalian Valte, Chief Secretary DS Poonia, Principal Home Secretary Dr. J Suresh Babu, DGP Y Joykumar, Maj General Gurung, IGAR (S) and other top level police and civil officials attended the function while president Achoibam Bonbihari, chief of army staff Mayengbam Maichon, home secretary Haobam Ahoi alias Lamba, organising secretary Lakpa, publicity secretary Laishram Brojen alias Khuman, deputy finance secretary Huidrom Angamba Meitei and four woman cadres with a total of eighty cadres on behalf of UPPK participated in the function.
Speaking at the function, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh expressed his happiness that UPPK cadres had come out to join the national mainstream by laying down arms and signing the MoU following an understanding with the government. The government will seriously take up the actions to rehabilitate those persons who have taken the path of peace, he said.
The CM further said that the door is wide open for underground organizations of all communities in the hills and the valley to return to a normal peaceful life.
“Let us live peacefully without armed conflict instead of fighting amongst ourselves. We will be able to take up all policies and programs including the development work together successfully after peace is brought first,” he said.
He appealed to other remaining rebel groups including the UNLF, PLA, PREPAK and KYKL to come to the path of peace like the UPPK.
He went on to say that steps will be taken up in consultation with the Indian government to provide equal facilities to those who have taken the path of peace including health, education sectors etc.
Achoibam Bonbihari, president of UPPK said that UPPK group had decided on the path of peace as the general public does not like bloodshed.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam who presided over the function appealed for all of to live together in harmony and peace while noting that today’s function was a landmark in the history of Manipur.
The tripartite MoU was signed by Shambhu Singh, Joint Secretary (NE) on behalf of the Home Ministry and Dr J Suresh Babu, Principal Secretary (Home) on behalf of the state Government. On behalf of the UPPK, the MoU was signed by the outfit`s president A. Bonbihari, its home secretary H. Ahoi alais Lemba and Chief of army Mayengbam Maichon.
The arms laid down by the UPPK were a total of 37 weapons including one SLR, 21 HK-33 Rifles, 4 Pistols, 2 lathod guns, one each of M-22 Rifle, AK-56 Rifle, Type 81 Rifle, A-4 Rifle, A-1 Rifle, MG A-2, MG M-23, MG MK-3 and RPG. In addition to many hand grenades, the UPPK has also brought 5742 rounds of 5.56 mm ammunition and 507 rounds of 7.762 mm ammunition. They were displayed to the media at the function today.