(MENAFN- IANS) Imphal, Dec 2 (IANS) Four days after the signing of the tripartite agreement with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the oldest valley-based militant outfit in Manipur, the state government on Saturday accorded a reception to the UNLF cadres and their family members.
Addressing the function at Kangla in Imphal, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh urged all other militant outfits to enter the peace process, saying that he is ready to work as the facilitator for any outfit desiring to join the peace process.
Noting that many people have lost their lives due to militancy related violence, Singh said that the process for signing the peace agreement with UNLF under the guidance and advice of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah took around three years.
Singh also appealed against spreading misinformation through social media without proper verification, as it could disturb peace in the society.
“We have been living divided for a long time and have lost many precious lives due to the division. Let us learn to sacrifice,” the Chief Minister said, reiterating his earlier call for people to forgive and forget.
He added that the people of Manipur should also acknowledge the action of the Central government under Modi and Shah of lifting the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and implementation of the Inner Line Permit to protect the indigenous people of Manipur.
The government is not against any community residing together in the state, the Chief Minister said, adding that the government is only trying to protect all the communities.
As part of the ceremony, the cadres of the UNLF were feted and pigeons were released carrying the message of peace, hope and development.
The tripartite agreement was signed in Delhi on Wednesday between the senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Manipur government and leaders of UNLF, which was formed in 1964 and had been operating both within and outside the Indian territory, including Myanmar.
After the signing of the pact, Singh had termed it as a“historic development”, adding that the agreement is poised to give fillip to usher in a new era of peace in the northeast in general. and Manipur in particular.
The agreement was signed 16 days after the the Home Ministry on November 13 had extended the ban on 11 Meitei extremist groups and their associate organisations, including the UNLF, which mostly operated from neighbouring Myanmar and frequently carried out fatal attacks on security forces.
According to a notification issued by the MHA, the groups which were declared banned for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act included Peoples' Liberation Army, commonly known as PLA, and its political wing, the Revolutionary Peoples' Front (RPF); the Peoples' Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and its armed wing Red Army; the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and its armed wing (also called the Red Army).
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