Guwahati: Amid the negotiation attempts of the Government of India with the banned terror outfit Kuki National Organisation (KNO), which has been long-fighting for a separate Kukiland for its people, the joint statement of the President of the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and the Commander-in-Chief of the Kuki National Army (KNA), PS Haokip has pointed towards a possible washout of the peace talks.
The duo stated that the group will not hesitate to go back to the jungles if the right of the Kukis to govern themselves is not respected.
Speaking at the concluding day of the three-day Kuki black day observance held at Kuki Inpi Complex in Tuibong in Churachandpur District, Haokip said, “KNO is in a political dialogue with the central government where we have consistently been saying that Kukis will feel safe only when our right to govern ourselves in our land is given recognition. We cannot settle for any less. The KNO is ready to stand with Kuki people till this right of ours is respected, and no attempt to trample over our land and rights will be tolerated,” He also added that while substantial talks is yet to begin, the group have reportedly prepared 45 charter of demands with “territorial council” in priority to be tabled in the next round of talks.
It may be mentioned that the KNO is currently engaged in tripartite political dialogue with the Centre and state government.
Of the 25-armed Kuki groups operating in the state, 17 are under KNO and eight under the United Peoples’ Front (UPF). Both the umbrella groups, whose initial demand was a statehood for Kuki people, signed the tripartite suspension of operation (SoO) agreement with the government on August 22, 2008. Recently, after dropping the statehood demand, they came up with the demand for ‘territorial council’ under the framework of the Indian Constitution.
The recent statement has created sensation amongst the peace negotiators as in this state of the peace treaty, any untoward incident would give rise to renewed troubles in the Northeastern Region. (SATP Inputs)