IMPHAL, August 12: Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh has welcomed talks between leaders of former militant groups with New Delhi’s interlocutor. He also said feelers had been sent out to insurgents still fighting the state.
Debendra Sharma, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, has started talks to settle issues, including the demand for a homeland and rehabilitation, with those who have come overground in the state, Biren Singh said.
“We have also raised some issues. We have insisted on a time-frame for talks since the inordinate delay has caused resentment among the signatories to the Suspension of Operations,” the Chief Minister told mediapersons in an interview.
He said the promised stipend of the past two years for the former insurgents had been cleared while extending the Suspension of Operations for one more year.
Biren Singh said it was important to move the designated camps for former militants 20 km away from the national highways. “This will help reduce allegations of heists and extortions (put on them).”
A total of 24 outfits, mostly belonging to the Kuki tribe, have come overground. There have been reports of violence within the camps housing them, causing even deaths.
At certain places, civilians have protested against these camps.
Biren Singh, who took charge of troubled Manipur in March, said he was in close touch with the central government to invite all the insurgent groups to the negotiating table.
He said feelers had been sent to some of the groups.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader claimed there had been an improvement in the law and order situation in the northeastern state.
Featured image(courtesy): Daily Mail