IMPHAL, June 7: The construction of designated camps in Semol village at Chandel of the KNLF/KPA which signed a landmark Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the union and state government on September 9, 2013 are 80 percent complete.
According to Laldenga Khongsai, a KNLF camp commander in Semol, KNLF cadres surrendered and joined the peace process in a formal home coming ceremony in the presence of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi on September 9, 2013.
“The designated camps of KNLF at Semol have been approved by a cabinet committee of state and union ministry of home affairs after a request by KNLF leader during the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG) meeting on December 13, 2013,” he said.
Consequently, the government instructed the Assam Rifles to shift the KNLF cadres from their temporary location at 9 Assam Rifles camp in Moreh to the new designated camps at Semol of Khengjoi Block under Chandel on May 3 this year. The shifting of the cadres was completed on May 19 and the construction of the camps was 80 percent complete on May 20.
Laldenga said that the nearby villages of the designated camps help in the construction of the KNLF camps with labour as well as material. Moreover, till now, KNLF haven’t carried out any extortion from nearby villages.
Expressing gratitude to the Chief Minister for providing designated camps in Semol, he alleged that ADC members, Paose Haokip and Sheithang Haokip, of Songjang and Torbung don’t have the right to grant designated camps as they are selected by UKLF and not elected by people.
“UKLF made a press statement recently that it didn’t want KNLF to set up designated camps in Semol by making inroads in their turf and area. UKLF has intimidated the village chiefs and civil bodies to stop the establishment of KNLF camps in Semol. They put pressure on civil bodies to protest against the rehabilitation and peace process of the government,” he said.
KNLF has further requested the state government to not fall prey to false propaganda of UKLF and to continue to permit KNLF cadres to stay with their families and friends in designated camps at Semol. Semol village chief, Tilgoulen, said that there have been no harassment and misbehaviour toward the people of Semol by KNLF cadres, adding that neither there were any extortion demands to the people of Semol.