The seventh round of ‘political dialogue’ between Manipur’s two umbrella bodies of Kuki militant, Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People’s Front (UPF), with the Government of India and state Government was held on Tuesday in New Delhi. The meeting was chaired by the interlocutor to Kuki Militant, AB. Mathur and attended by top leaders of the two umbrella groups including PS Haokip, president KNO and Thanglenpao chairman of UPF. This is the first time the supremo of the two umbrella bodies had participated in talks held between the militant groups and the Governments.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Seilen Haokip, spokesperson of KNO said that the dialogue is progressing very positively.
When asked on the agenda discussed today, Haokip said, “To be precise we are doing a comparative study of the Bodo Territorial Council (BTC). Based on the BTC pattern, we are pushing with our demand for Territorial Council (TC) and trying to find a way to improve it (TC),” he said.
Initially, the Kuki militants began their armed rebellion demanding a separate state for the Kukis scattered in different parts of the Northeastern states and parts of Myanmar. Later, the umbrella groups stepped down from their earlier demand and pitched for the “Territorial Council”. On January 10, the two umbrella bodies submitted the outline of the TC during their sixth round of political talks.
Haokip asserted that as per their findings the Bodos are not satisfied with BTC, particularly the implementation process.
“On paper, the BTC is very good but the issue lies with the non-implementation, which we don’t want to happen. If so the talks will go nowhere,” Haokip added.
KNO and UPF signed the tripartite suspension of operation (SoO) agreement with the government of India and Manipur on August 22, 2008. Of the total 25 armed Kuki groups operating in the state, 17 are under the KNO and eight under the United Peoples’ Front (UPF).
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