KPI, October 07 2017: Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (North East in-charge), Satyendra Garg visited the designated camp of Kuki National Front, Ebenezer Peace Camp at Natheljang in Kangpokpi district today.
Later, Garg and officials from the State Government visited Camp Salem of KNO located at Sangaikot sub-division in Churachandpur district .
People of Kangpokpi district accorded a symbolic traditional welcome when the MHA Joint Secretary landed in a chopper at around 9.45 am at Kholjang TAYA playground while the Kuki chiefs presented him a traditional shawl ‘Saipikhup’ apart from the Kuki women garlanding the senior IPS officer .
Satyendra Garg who is also the first person to chair the ‘Indo-Kuki Political Dialogue’ was accompanied by Dr J Suresh Babu, Addl Chief Secretary (Home), Govt of Manipur, who is also the Chairman of Joint Monitoring Groups of the SoO groups along with other department officials concerned .
Kuki leaders of various civil society organizations under the aegis of Kuki Inpi including leaders of Kuki National Front greeted the visiting team at Ebenezer Peace Camp where the Joint Secretary signed on a monolith erected by the KNF in memory of his historic visit before a brief interaction and visiting the camp to take stock of the situation .
Satyendra Garg said that his idea to visit the camp was to take stock of the camp, how it looks like, how it runs, how people live there , what are their issues .
He continued that though political talk was initiated after eight years of inking the SoO pact, the Government has however appointed a separate interlocutor for the talk without much delay .
“Whatever issues concern the Kukis, the Government is aware and that is why we initiated the political dialogue and the Government of India will do whatever is just for every section of society including the Kukis”, asserted the Joint Secretary .
He also said that Government of India wants solution as it is the key to peace and the ultimate key to development .
The Joint Secretary also assured renovation of Ebenezer Peace Camp .
KNF general secretary Aaron Kipgen, who is also the spokesperson of UPF said that the reason why they took arms and fought for Statehood is because they have a political issue and the talk is on because “we feel our custom, culture and tradition can be preserved within the framework of Indian Constitution.”
“I want to reiterate today that the issue of Kuki arms movement, the signing of SoO and opening of designated camps is not a law and order problem but a political issue”, asserted Aaron Kipgen .
“Therefore, we request the Government of India to deal the Kuki issue as a political issue and not a mere law and order issue,” he added .
Appreciating the visit of Satyendra Garg, Aaron Kipgen said that it is a memorable day as it is the first time that a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of Home Affairs is visiting the Kuki Army camp of KNF .
“I believe and would like to convey to the Kuki CSOs and the mass including the Kuki Army that the maiden visit of Satyendra Garg is historic as it clearly demonstrates that the Government is giving due importance to resolve what we are fighting for,” Aaron added .
He also recalled that when Suspension of Operation was signed nine years back in 2008 and the designated camp was inaugurated in 2010, the aspiration of SoO cadres as well as the Kuki people in general was to start political talks .
“But, things were not going as fast as expected and we have been waiting for more than 8 years for the political dialogue to be initiated,” he added .
The Kuki Inpi Manipur also submitted a memorandum to the Joint Secretary urging him to bring an honorable solution to the Kuki political issue while appreciating and conveying gratitude of the Kuki people to the Government of India for initiating the much awaited political dialogue with UPF and KNO.
Source: The Sangai Express