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KNF First Among SoO Group To Progress From Silencing Guns To Talk Table

Imphal, September 14, 2010: For the first time among UG groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO) pact, the Kuki National Front (KNF) would be depositing the weapons of their cadres at the designated Ebenezer camp at Natheljang, Sadar Hills tomorrow.

Along with it, the outfit is demanding a Central Government representative not lower than the rank of Joint Secretary to begin a political dialogue.

Speaking to media persons at their designated camp today, KNF president ST Thangboi stated that they have been waiting for this opportunity (of political dialogue) for the last 23 years.

KNF cadres scattered at different places have assembled at Natheljang (Koubru range) for depositing all their arms and weapons tomorrow at the camp which would be a landmark in the revolutionary history of Kuki people.

Tomorrow’s function is neither about surrender nor submission, he said.

The arms and weapons of the KNF would be kept under a double-locking system.

The president categorically stated that the KNF would not enter into any negotiation except for Statehood.

ST Thangboi also put forward two proposals to the State Government and the Government of India.

The first one pertains to taking up due and effective efforts by the State Government to bring all other SoO signatories to the negotiating table for political talks and maintenance of the status quo.

The second which was addressed to New Delhi asked for appointment of an interlocutor not lower than the rank of Joint Secretary to initiate political dialogue.

Notably, a joint meeting held at New Delhi on August 20 agreed extension of SoO pact by 45 days and all groups under the pact should deposit weapons at their designated camps.

Designated camp for the KNF which is a constituent of the UPF was opened on November 27, 2009. KNF cadres would be depositing their weapons at the camp tomorrow which would be attended by army and police officers.

Responding to queries raised by media persons, Thangboi said that one key each of the room where the weapons would be kept would be held by the Government and the organization.

Though the party has 370 cadres, the Government has identified only 250. Commenting on the demand for raising a Kuki regiment, the KNF leader said that their struggle was not for raising any regiment.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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