The Manipur government and the Union Home Ministry might not be “on the same page” over the state’s proposal for a Suspension of Operations move with three underground armed tribal groups, sources have indicated.
The Home Ministry is yet to give its approval two weeks after the Manipur government withdrew talks, sources said.
Soon after the state government took the decision, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi and apprised him about the ‘ground situation’ and ‘adverse activities’ of three outfits — the Kuki National Army (KNA), Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) and Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA).
Manipur Chief Secretary Rajesh Kumar accompanied by other officials last week met Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla and the Centre’s representative on peace talks, AK Mishra.
The Manipur government’s decision to withdraw from SoO and the tripartite agreement with the three groups on March 10 was in accordance with its assessment that these outfits are supporting the influx of Myanmarese immigrants from across the border, encouraging illegal poppy cultivation and drug trade.
Police sources have added that the state has shared with Centre inputs on how the cadres of KNA, ZRA and KRA are instigating poppy cultivators against the government, which has been taking action against illegal cultivation, and destroying poppy fields in the forest lands, especially in reserve and protected forests.
The Centre and Manipur government had signed the tripartite agreement and SoO with the Kuki tribal groups on August 22, 2008.
Under the SoO agreement, several hundred militants of three outfits had come overground. However, the Central government is yet to come to the negotiating table.