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Talks With Rebels On PC’s Manipur Agenda

IMPHAL, Dec. 13: Union home minister P. Chidambaram will visit Manipur for two days from tomorrow to review the law and order and the progress of the ground work for holding talks with the Kuki militant groups that signed a tripartite suspension of operations with the state government and the Centre.

The home minister will arrive at the Tulihal airport here by an air force plane from Guwahati in the afternoon. On arrival, he will meet chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, senior leaders of security agencies and civil officials at the secretariat to review the law and order situation in the state.

He will call on Governor Gurbachan Jagat at Raj Bhavan in the evening, following which he is scheduled to address students at G.P. Women’s College here.

On Wednesday, Chidambaram will visit Sendra near Moirang in Bishnupur district by helicopter. The place provides a bird’s eye view of the sprawling Loktak Lake.

He will then head for Churachandpur district where he will visit the designated camps of the 19 Kuki militant outfits, which signed the suspension of operations. The construction of the camps is almost complete and the militants have moved into them.

The home minister’s visit to the designated camps is expected to herald the start of a political dialogue that the 19 Kuki militant groups are pressing for. The have been demanding the creation of a Kuki homeland (state) under the purview of the Constitution.

Chidambaram is expected to get first hand information about the aspirations of the Kuki groups when he meets them.

The home minister will leave Imphal for Delhi the same day in the afternoon.

Chidambaram’s visit comes in the wake of the tripartite talks held among officials of the Union home ministry and state government and a delegation of the United Naga Council at Senapati, the district headquarters, on December 3.

The meeting discussed the UNC’s demand for ‘an alternative administrative arrangement’ (outside the administrative purview of Manipur) for Nagas living in the state.

Sources said officials present at the meet had briefed the home minister about the talks. V.K. Bansal, secretary (internal security) in the Union home ministry, who led the Centre’s team in the talks, had told reporters immediately after the meeting that he would convey the UNC’s demands to the higher authorities.

Chidambaram is expected to take up the tripartite talk issue during his security review meeting with the chief minister tomorrow. However, the Ibobi Singh government had clarified after the Senapati meeting that his government would not compromise on the state’s boundary.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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