Tuesday, February 27, 2024
North East

‘New chapter of peace, normalcy in Manipur,’ says CM on pact with UNLF

Imphal, December 2: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday said that a new chapter heralding peace and normalcy has begun in the state with the recent signing of a peace agreement between the Centre and the state’s oldest militant outfit United National Liberation Front (UNLF).
The peace agreement was signed in New Delhi on Wednesday, ending a six-decade long armed struggle involving the outfit.
Speaking at the reception programme of the UNLF cadres, the CM said, ‘I am really happy… a new chapter has begun to usher in peace and bring unity in Manipur.’
‘I also urge people to extend the same effort, encouragement and support they provided to the UNLF for joining the peace talks, to other groups as well,’ Singh said.
The CM said precious lives of civilians, insurgents and police personnel have been lost in the decades-long insurgency in the state.
‘Due to violence, several key people have lost their lives. Because of the policy of previous governments that encouraged killings as the only solution instead of engaging in peace talks, 2,000 valuable lives have been lost. The life of every individual, be that of an insurgent, a civilian or a police personnel, is precious,’ Singh said.
He said that the process of the peace agreement with UNLF had started three years ago.
‘Without the support of the people of Manipur, this peace deal would not have materialised. I thank the UNLF and its armed wing MPA for agreeing to sign the pact,’ the CM said.
Singh said that ’99 per cent of the people’ of Manipur are happy with the signing of the deal, and urged the ‘remaining one per cent’ to be part of the celebrations and not criticise the pact.
‘Instead of engaging in politics, let us encourage all to work for the welfare of both the country and the state,’ he said.
Singh appealed to the UNLF to play a responsible role in the current crisis of the state and help bring unity among the people.
More than 180 people have been killed and thousands rendered homeless in an ongoing ethnic conflict between the Imphal Valley-based Meiteis and hills-based Kukis.
‘We are not against anyone. We only want the small number of indigenous people not to lose their identity in the wake of an influx of an overwhelming number of people from outside… we only want to protect the indigenous populace,’ Singh said, referring to the alleged involvement of immigrants from Myanmar in the ethnic strife. (PTI)