NEW DELHI/IMPHAL: Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh on Thursday discussed the issues facing the state with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, a day after a tripartite agreement was signed with the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the oldest valley-based militant outfit in the northeastern state. Officials in Imphal said that the Chief Minister, during his meeting with Shah in Delhi, discussed various "vital issues" concerning Manipur, which has been devastated by ethnic violence for over seven months now. “The state government has submitted various projects and proposals relating to displaced and violence-affected people, including farmers, and sought financial assistance from the Centre to implement them. The Chief Minister discussed these proposals with the Home Minister. They also discussed illegal infiltration from Myanmar,” an official said.
After meeting Shah, Singh posted on X: “It was an honour to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi today. I am extremely grateful to him for his commitment to working collaboratively for the betterment of Manipur and playing an instrumental role in bringing the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) to the mainstream through peace talks.” "His (Shah's) leadership and efforts have played a pivotal role in fostering reconciliation and paving the way for a more peaceful and united future for the northeast," Singh added.
After several months, the Manipur Chief Minister went to Delhi and held a meeting with the Home Minister, who had visited the violence-hit state for four days from May 29 to June 1. Meanwhile, the tripartite agreement was signed in Delhi on Wednesday between the senior officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Manipur government, and the 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, the Manipur Chief Minister termed it a “historic development," adding that the agreement is poised 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 Home Ministry on November 13 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. Manipur has around 400 km of unfenced border with Myanmar.
According to a notification issued by the MHA, the groups that were declared banned for five years under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act included the 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, the Red Army; and the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and its armed wing (also called the Red Army). (IANS)