Central government to hold talks with insurgent groups in Manipur

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Central government to hold talks with insurgent groups in Manipur

Recently, the Defense Minister has suggested the insurgent groups operating in Manipur to give up violence, and find a solution through dialogue.

The Defense Minister has clarified that the Union Government is ready to hold talks with him to bring lasting peace in the region.

Reasons for increasing insurgency in Manipur:

  • The alleged dissatisfaction arose over the alleged “forced accession” of Manipur to the Union of India (1949), and the subsequent delay (1972) in granting it full statehood. This discontent is attributed to the rise of Meitei-based separatist insurgency (such as UNLE, PLA etc.) in Manipur.
  • The Meitei community forms the majority in the Imphal Valley, while the Naga and Kuki communities reside in the surrounding hill districts.
  • The ongoing Naga agitation in the neighboring state of Nagaland has spread to the hill districts of Manipur. Most of its parts are controlled by NSCN-IM.
  • The NSCN-IM’s demand for a ‘Nagalim state’ is being perceived as a “threat to the territorial integrity” of Manipur.
  • Ethnic conflict between the Naga and Kuki tribes has led to the formation of several Kuki rebel groups. These conflicts began in the 1990s.
  • Insurgent organizations like the Kuki National Organization (KNO) and the United People’s Front (UPF) have been demanding a separate state for the Kuki tribe in Manipur.

Measures to control insurgency:

  • The Kuki organizations had entered into a Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the Center and the Manipur government in the year 2008. However, major Manipur-based organizations are still not ready for talks.
  • In the year 2020, the Naga and Kuki community signed a declaration calling for a ceasefire to peacefully resolve the contentious issues.
  • Entire Manipur has been declared as “Disturbed Area” (1980). In addition, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has been invoked in the area.
  • Surrender-cum-Rehabilitation Program has been started.

Source – The Hindu

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