The Telegraph
Thursday , November 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Meet to discuss Kuki pact
- Outfits push for political dialogue on separate state

Imphal, Nov. 28: Kuki militant groups will press for the start of a political dialogue when they meet Union home ministry officials and the state government in Delhi for extension of the ongoing suspension of operation agreement.

Official sources in Imphal said leaders of Kuki groups who signed the tripartite agreement would meet officials of the Centre and state government in New Delhi on December 5.

Twenty Kuki militant groups under two umbrella bodies of Kuki National Organisation and United Peoples Front had inked a suspension of operation agreement with the Centre and the state government in August 2005.

The agreement expired on November 22 and is yet to be extended but the ceasefire rules continued to be in force as both the state and the Centre were prepared to extend the agreement. Sources said the governments are likely to extend it for another three months.

“Leaders of both Kuki groups are gearing up to press the Centre for the start of a political dialogue for extension of the suspension of operation agreement,” a source close to both the groups told The Telegraph.

The home ministry decided to hold the talks after another Kuki group — the Kuki State Demand Committee — imposed a six-day blockade on all the state and national highways since November 17, demanding start of a political dialogue.

The committee had suspended the blockade after Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam assured that the state government would make all out efforts to impress upon the Centre to start a dialogue.

The Kuki militant groups are demanding creation of a Kuki state out of the existing boundary of Manipur, at a time when the United Naga Council is holding consultative meetings with Naga leaders in the Naga-dominated districts of the state. The Naga council, the apex body of the community, has also been demanding for an alternative administrative arrangement for Nagas outside the purview of the state government.

“We are holding consultative meetings on the issue of an alternative arrangement. However, we have not taken any concrete decision to launch any agitation,” a Naga council leader told this correspondent.

The push for a political dialogue with Kuki militant groups and the council’s meeting are taking place at a time when the Centre is reportedly trying to place a proposal before the NSCN (I-M) to solve the Naga political imbroglio.

Sources said the Centre was also preparing to place the proposal before the chief ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The NSCN (I-M) has been demanding integration of Naga-inhabited areas of the three states with Nagaland.