By Chitra Ahanthem
Imphal, September 09 2013: With 147 cadres belonging to three different underground organisations laying down arms, the Government has signed memorandum of understanding and suspension of operation pact with three UG groups today. 44 cadres of KCP (Nongdrenkhomba) surrendered to the Government along with 26 different kinds of weapons through 46th Assam Rifles. 50 cadres of the KNLF laid down 35 numbers of weapons and their return to mainstream was facilitated by 9th Assam Rifles. KNLF is a constituent member of KNO, an umbrella body of several Kuki armed outfits. 53 cadres of KRF, a constituent member of UPF, another conglomerate of Kuki outfits surrendered to the Government along with 30 assorted weapons through 43rd Assam Rifles. Eight cadres of KYKL surrendered to the Government along with 4 weapons. They surrendered to the Government through Imphal East District Police. Altogether, 155 UG cadres laid down arms at today`s function and they brought 95 numbers of assorted weapons, 15 IEDs, 10 grenades, 10 lethod bombs, three mortar bombs, 12 radio sets, a number of magazines and 977 numbers of ammunition. The 95 assorted weapons included RPG, lethod guns, mortars, AK rifles, M-16 rifles, revolvers, pistols, single-barrel guns as well as country made guns. Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister O Ibobi stated that the Government sometimes received complaints from the public about some groups under SoO pacts indulging in extortion and abduction of people for ransom. In case enough evidence can be gathered about any UG groups under SoO pacts indulging in unlawful activities, the Government would not remain silent.
Lamka, September 10 2013: At least six surrendered cadres of a valley based outfit, in full combat dress, went on the rampage at the district hospital campus today while the Health Minister along with three of his counterparts were on a visit, shoving and punching a policeman on duty in full view of the public as well as the visiting officials. About six men in combat dresses made their way into the hospital campus, yelling at the top of their voice and marched towards a policeman who was standing in a corner without any arms in hand. Some policemen were seen loading their rifles as the events unfolded, frightening the public of a shoot-out as the men in combat were initially thought to be personnel of the Assam Rifles.
Imphal, September 11 2013: MLA of Thangmeiband A/C Kh Joykishan has questioned the significance of SoO. He stated that with certain SoO signatory UG groups resorting to abduction of people for ransom apart from indulging in various criminal activities including extortion, the question of whether the authority concerned has given the license to carry out all sort of crimes behind SoO has arisen. Actions should be taken up against the UG cadres and the group involved, he demanded, while adding that beating up security personnel on duty is a crime. The MLA also demanded that the Home Department should take up appropriate actions against the violators of SoO ground rules as promised by the Home Minister Gaikhangam.
Imphal, September 13 2013: The `chief of army staff` of the armed outfit Kangleipak Communist Party-Nongdren Khomba (KCP-N) group, which recently signed suspension of operation (SoO) with the Central and Manipur Government, has been nabbed by police while trying to extort money from a Government official, according to police. Superintendent of Police, Imphal East district in a statement said today that Laishram Gunamani alias Guru, 32, the chief of army staff of KCP-N was arrested from Kongba area in the district while trying to extort money from a Forest Divisional Officer (DFO) during an operation yesterday. A pistol with magazine having three rounds and a mobile phone handset were recovered from his possession, it added. KCP-N is now a signatory to the suspension of operation (SoO) involving both the Central and state Governments. The outfit signed the pact here during a home coming ceremony on September 9 this year.
Lamka, September 16 2013: Two armed conglomerates under SoO agreement, KNO and UPF today reportedly oversaw a settlement on the weekend violence, where some members of two armed groups turned hostile at Thingchom village about 6 kms from here, that left one dead and two others injured. With the case assuming an ugly possibility of turning communal, the Kuki Inpi Churachandpur and Hmar Inpui began to mediate the case and talks were held until late yesterday. As per the settlement arrived at today, Rs 2 lakhs will be paid as compensation to the bereaved family besides 1 traditional gong for resting the head of the dead, and fulfilling other traditionally necessary rituals, according to a source within the parties involved in the settlement.
Imphal, September 22 2013: Taking strong exception to threatening of public leaders in Chandel district by Kuki National Liberation Front, United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) has pointed out that the conduct of KNLF leadership is very much against their acceptance of peace term. Although previous statements of KNLF were contrary to their recently surrender ceremony as they had time and again openly blamed the SoO signatory Kuki UG groups for joining the pace process even to the extent of dubbing them as traitors and betrayers, accepting peace process is always good for all and UKLF appreciates them. However, their present action of threatening the leaders of Chandel district like members of Kuki Peoples`Forum (KPF), Kuki Students`Organisation (KSO), Kuki Chiefs`Association (KCA), Kuki Women Human Rights (KWHR) and Kuki Inpi, Manipur (KIM) is much against their acceptance of peace term, JM Thadou said, while requesting the KNLF leaders to withdraw their threat and made it clear that otherwise UKLF would not remain silent.
Imphal, October 08 2013: Military Defence Force (MDF), currently a signatory to the peace process, has clarified that one of its cadres failed to return to the group`s designated camp at the 20 Assam Rifles post after going for a five-day leave since September 17. As his return was being awaited newspapers published about Gambhir`s thrashing by Laikhong locals on october 3 for alleged attempt to outrage modesty of a girl and his subsequent handing over to Yairipok police station. Conveying gratitude to Laikhong locals for their timely action in saving the girl as well as teaching Gambhir a befitting lesson, Malemnganba said extortion activities and indecency against the womenfolk are some acts abhorred by the MDF.
Imphal, October 11, 2013: The Government of Manipur has given instructions that all the cadres of the Suspension of Operation (SoO)-signatory UG groups, who are staying in designated camps, should seek prior permission of the Superintendents of Police (SPs) concerned if they want to go from one district to another. The instruction was given to the leaders of five SoO-signatory UG groups during joint meeting held at the banquet hall of Ist Manipur Rifle here today. The two sides also agreed that legal action be initiated against any cadre who are found involved in illegal activities during their day out as well as against security forces if any harassment is given to any of the cadres without any valid reason. They also agreed that the monthly stipend of Rs 4,000 given to the cadres should be withdrawn using the joint bank account of each group.
Imphal, October 14, 2013: Three persons have been admitted in Shija Hospital after Motbung Meitei Leikai was brutalised by four cadres who came down from KNF`s Ebenezer camp. Subsequently, infuriated villagers of Motbung Meitei Leikai blocked Imphal-Dimapur highway at Motbung Keithel.The highway blockade was called off at around 4 pm after an understanding was brought at a joint meeting of Thadou Students` Association Sadar Hills, Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills and villagers of Motbung Meitei Leikai.
Imphal, October 20 2013: Five cadres of PREPAK(Pro) have surrendered to the Thoubal SP along with five rifles of AK series, 15 maga- zines and 375 live rounds, informed a police source.Of the five cadres who surrendered to the SP, four were of Lance Corporal rank while the fifth, a Corporal.
Imphal, November 23 2013: Some personnel of Assam Rifles and Manipur Police Commando have been using cadres of some groups currently under suspen-sion of operation (SoO) pacts with the Government for ex-tortion and in committing many other crimes in Manipur.This was stated by Thou-dam Umakanta s/o Th Chaoba of Khurai Thoudam, who is currently in the custody of RPF/PLA during a press meet at a hideout of the outfit in one of the hill districts.
Imphal, November 28 2013: The Hmar People`s Convention-Democratic (HPC-D) has accused the Officer-in-Charge of 38th Assam Rifles of violating the ground rules that the Government of India has adhered to and for disrupting peace and security of Sipuikawn village in Tipaimukh constituency by breaking into the house of Lalchuoilo Hmar, a cadre of HPC-D, who is a registered army of HPC (D), and is stationed at Camp Sinlung, Ankhasuo, the designated Camp of HPC-D without any official purpose.
(A longer and referenced version of this text is being included in the eighth annual report of Armed Conflicts in South Asia collated and undertaken by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, New Delhi)