Imphal, Jan 22, 2024, IANS
In a significant development in Manipur, 34 MLAs, mostly of the ruling BJP, have urged the Central government to abrogate the Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the armed militant outfits, otherwise the legislators would take "appropriate action" in consultation with the people.
The 34 MLAs, in a meeting on Sunday, took a unanimous resolution requesting the Central government to abrogate the SoO, signed between the Central and state governments and 23 Kuki militant outfits in 2008 and 2,266 Kuki cadres have been staying in different designated camps in Manipur.
"If Government of India is unable to take any positive action as per the resolution, we the legislators will take appropriate action in consultation with the public,” said the resolution, accessed by IANS.
The resolution said that the armed attacks (using sophisticated weaponry such as rocket-propelled grenade launchers) on Indian soil, Indian citizens, and security forces by Myanmar-based armed militants must be stopped at all costs.
It said that in many of the sensitive areas, a section of the Central forces are not responsive and remain mute spectators when unarmed civilians (particularly farmers) are being indiscriminately fired upon frequently.
The resolution said that a section of central forces and their leadership need to give strict instructions and be held accountable and replaced with forces that have the ability to act by returning suppressive fire when they observe that unarmed civilians are being fired upon, to enable civilians to get to cover and safety.
According to the officials, the 34 signatories include ministers.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, however, did not sign the resolution. Singh, who also holds the home portfolio, has, on a number of occasions, claimed that Myanmar-based militants and illegal immigrants from across the border are creating ethnic trouble in Manipur, involved in drugs smuggling and illicit poppy cultivation by encroaching the government forest lands.
Criticising the role of a section of the central forces, he said: "You (central forces) were not invited to observe what is going on. You were deployed to protect the integrity of the state... the life and properties of the innocent people."
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