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SoO Pact Spirit Marches Forward, KNF Cadres Deposit Arms In Presence Of Army Top Brass

IMPHAL, Sep 15: For the first time since the agreement on Suspension of Operation (SoO) was reached on August 27, 2008, cadres of the Kuki National Front (KNF) deposited their weapons at its ‘˜Peace Ebenezer’ designated camp today.

The camp is located near Natheljang village in the Koubru Range, under Kangpokpi police station.

The KNF cadres formally handed over various types of weapons to personnel of 59 Mountain Brigade after which the weapons were deposited inside a separate enclosure within the camp premises.

Prior to depositing the weapons, the 59 mountain Brigade personnel enlisted minute details of each and every cadre in pre-prepared forms.

Entries in the form included name of the cadre along with photo, name of parents, address, rank as well as type and registration number of the weapon/s.

After the weapons were kept inside the said enclosure, the small house was locked with one key handed over to Kangpokpi police personnel and the other to the KNF.

The event was held in the presence of Kangpokpi ADC chairman Seipu, Commander of the 59 Mountain Brigade Brig Anil Chauhan and other rank officers, SP (Senapati) Nishit K Ujjwal and Officer in-charge of Kangpokpi police station.

Addressing the KNF cadres during a parade that preceded the weapon-deposit, Brig Anil Chauhan explained that handing over of weapons should not be construed as surrendering the arms for the very ceremony is a component of suspension of operation agreement that envisions restoration of peace and welfare for the Kuki public.

Later speaking to newspersons at the designated camp, Anil Chauhan described handing over of weapons by the KNF cadres, the first since signing of SoO with UPF and KNO, as a historic event and expressed confidence of more such positive development in the near future.

He also confided that security aspect of the designated camp would be the prerogative of the KNF organization, the number of security strength would be worked out after consultation with members of the Joint Monitoring Group (JMG).

While noting inevitability of security protection of JMG members/leaders, the Commander further explained that it would be considered breach of SoO agreement if and whenever party attempts or breaks the lock.

In his comment, KNF general secretary Aaron Kipgen highlighted that for the last 23 years, the Front had been sustaining movement for formation of Kuki Land.

He said handing over of weapons by the KNF cadres today is the first step towards achieving the cherished goal through political dialogue.

Declaring that hill areas of Manipur are not under the ambit of the State Government, Aaron also asserted that there is specific location for establishing Kukiland within an outlined map.

He further stated that in spite of presence of Kuki inhabited locations in Imphal areas, there will be no demand for inclusion under Kirkland if considerate inappropriate.

The KNF leader also exuded confidence that with the formal handing of weapon, process for political dialogue would be completed within four months.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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