Citizens demand restoration of peace in Manipur

MLAs of Manipur hailing from different political parties, in a representation submitted to prime minister Narendra Modi, demanded “immediate establishment of security” in Manipur, while asserting that simple deployment of forces is inadequate to contain the violence.

A total of 40 MLAs signed the representation which was submitted to the prime minister on August 9.

The representation highlighted a six-point demand which the Centre is urged to implement for restoration of peace and normalcy in the state.

While demanding complete disarmament, the representation demanded “immediate establishment of security”, while asserting that simple deployment of forces is inadequate.

“Although it is imperative to halt the violence in the peripheral areas, a complete disarmament is the key to achieve this goal.  The entire state requires a complete disarmament to foster an environment of peace and security,” it stated.

“The confiscation of all weapons belonging to insurgent groups and Illegal armed foreign forces and those snatched from the state machinery needs to be carried out,” the memorandum also said.

In this regard, the central security forces need to adopt a more proactive approach to ensure lasting peace in the region, it further said.

There have been numerous instances of farmers going out to work in their fields (to subsist) only to be fired upon by militants in elevated positions, the memorandum alleged.

The weapons that are being used by militants in these firing incidents are sophisticated military grade arms which include assault, sniper rifles and Rocket propelled Grenades (RPGs), the memorandum also said.

“In many cases, these firing incidents have occurred in the presence of central security forces which have failed to react appropriately, or react at all. This has led to a loss of faith in these forces and the buildup of public resentment,” the MLAs observed in the representation.

The Assam Rifles (9, 22 and 37) need to be transferred from their present location of deployment while trustworthy central forces along with state security can replace them to sanitize and neutralize and sanitize the whole area of any and all threats to peace, security and stability, the memorandum also said.

The second point of the representation demanded withdrawal of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with all those who have violated the ground rules at the earliest while recommending that it will remove any disadvantages for the central forces with regard to the rules of engagement with these threats.

There has been large scale foreign infiltration with arms and ammunition into the state. So, the central forces should proactively engage with them. There has been a non-stop conflict between the state/central forces and these insurgent armed groups in the state for the last three months, it also said.

The source and funding of these sophisticated arms and ammunition need to be investigated, keeping in view of how the conflict has lasted for the past three months, and the arms continue to arrive into the state, it added.

The third point demanded implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The demand for the implementation of the NRC must be addressed politically in order to resolve this crisis of conflict.

There are many options that can be explored. On one hand, to reassure the indigenous people of Manipur, the NRC can be implemented in Manipur, sooner rather than later, the memorandum further said.

Biometric registrations of immigrants have started and it needs to be expanded and strengthened, it stated.

No separate administration as demanded by ITLF/Kukis, the fourth point said, while adding that this is the most important point that must be made.

“A ‘separate administration’ as demanded by ITLF/Kukis is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstance,” it said

“To reassure all communities, we may consider strengthening of the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) and conduct of regular elections and initiation of peace talk were the fifth and sixth point of the representation,” the representation also said.

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