IMPHAL, June 14: Alongside a Tehelka report predicting a fake surrender programme in the state which was posted on it’s web portal on June 13, 41 militant activists including the PULP (Umar Farooque) chairman Umar Farooque and 39 other members of the group and a cadre of the KCP Nando laid down arms before the Chief Minister of Manipur today at the IGAR (S) Mantripukhri.
The surrender ceremony was organized by the 28 Assam Rifles under the banner “Home Coming Celebration” and was also attended by Chief Minister O Ibobi, DGP and IGAR (S).
Speaking at the ceremony Chief Minister, O. Ibobi Singh, stated that the laying down of arms by the PULF cannot be termed as surrender but should be branded as homecoming and is very much vital in bringing peace and normalcy in the state.
While lauding the initiatives of the security forces, he noted that the huge development is a second of its kind where a militant group operating in the valley area has willing come to join the mainstream by laying down their arms.
“The surrender of the KCP Lallummba group was the first incident”, he recalled.
The Chief Minister contended that Manipur is struggling for survival while its counterparts are achieving economic progress and also stated the law and order situation in the state as the main hindrance hampering the development of the state.
He further put forth the urgent need to improve the law and order in the state.
The Chief Minister further reiterated the stands of both the Government of India and the state government that its doors are wide open for peaceful negotiation. He said gun and violence is not the solution of any problems but it helps in creating more problems.
He lamented that frequent bandh and blockade in the state have inflicted the loss of crores of rupees for the state and further made a fervent appeal to the people to take serious note of the prevailing trend of bandhs and blockades. The government alone cannot control such menace and it needs co-operation from the public to ensure effective measures to control it, he maintained.
While responding to queries of media persons the Chief Minister, disclosed that all the initiative taken up regarding insurgency problem by the government so far is not a mere attempt to earn political mileage but sincere efforts for development of the state and its people.
He also assured that all the shortcomings regarding the rehabilitation of the surrendered militants will be addressed very soon if any.
Further in his response on the plebiscite issue, O. Ibobi disclosed that the ‘Plebiscite’ option will not be feasible considering the democratic system of the country. He instead gave options for either tripartite talk.
Clarifying on a news report released by the Tehelka prior to the surrendering programme terming it as a fake surrendering ceremony involving innocent daily wages earners and borrowing arms from Kuki militant groups, Major General CA. Krishnan, stated that the report is totally baseless adding the identities of the militant who have surrendered today cannot be concealed. The general people and especially from the respective localities of the surrendered militants will certainly identify them, he said.
As for the borrowing of weapons from Kuki militant groups, he clarified that the weapons of the SoO signatories are kept under double lock safehouses and is under the constant monitoring of their respective police concerned.
The general further urged every section of the society to co-operate in the attempt of the law enforcing agencies in bringing the misguided youths into the mainstream area.
Further during an interview, Belan Khan, the general secretary of (Umar Farooque) stated that his group decided to give up arms taking serious note of the deteriorating condition of the state.
They have realized that they are among the forces destabilizing the development and tranquility of the country, added Belan Khan.
Altogether 36 weapons including huge cache of ammunitions were brought along by the surrendered militants.
The weapons include thirteen 9mm pistols along with magazines, a .22 revolver with magazine, two 7.65 mm pistol with magazines, a 9mm Thomson CM pistol with magazine, one M-20 Rifle with magazine, four 303 bore rifle with magazine, four CM 9mm with magazine, one SLR with magazine, two AK-47 with magazine, four AK-56 with magazine, two M-16 Rifle with magazine, one .32 pistol with magazine, two grenades and three live rounds of 9mm.
The surrendered PULF included the parties top raking leaders, chariman of the PULF, Md. Majibur Rahman alias Ningthem alias Umar Farooqe, 36, s/o (L) Md. Sirajuddin of Sora, vice chairman, Md. Kalimuddin, 51, of Yairipok, general secretary Abdul Jabbar alias Md. Belal Khan, 56, s/o (L) Haji Mufijuddin of Lilong, commander in chief, Md. Nurjaman alias Dany, 43, s/o Md. Usman of Kairang, chief project officer, Y. Nabachandra Singh alias Samu, 46, s/o Y. Angou Singh of Yairipok, finance secretary, Md. Abdul Kadir alias Epak alias Nizam, 45, s/o (L) Md. Siraj Ahemad of Yairipok, publicity secretary, Md. Sayed Rehman alias Md. Rohit alias Sahid Mustaq, 33, s/o (L) Md. Chaoba of Yairipok, organizing secretary, Md. Mujaffar Ali alias Amou alias Dawad, 42, s/o Md. Jahoor Ali of Yairipok.
The KCP Nando Cadre who also surrendered, is identified as Md. Apikpa, 24, of Lilong. He brought along one 9 mm pistol along with magazine.
Meanwhile a statement of the PRO has stated that at least 166 militant cadres have laid down arms in IGAR (S) alone during the past one year in addition to the 122 cadres of the KCP (MC) Lallumba group who signed the tripartite agreement with the Government of India and Government of Manipur.