Amid the demand for abrogation of Suspension of Operations with the Kuki militants and a hell-bent stand up against the demand for separate administration, the United People's Front (UPF) and Kuki National Army (KNO) put up the demand for Separate Administration with legislative powers during talks with the Government of India at the National Capital.
After several rounds of informal talks in the last two and a half months, the UPF, and the KNO, the two conglomerate organizations of the Kuki militants held the first formal meeting with the Government of India since May 3 on July 26, which marked the resumption of the formal political dialogue.
The alleged state-sponsored wide-scale violence in Manipur that erupted on May 3 fathered the demand for Separate Administration on the part of the Kuki-Zo community and it gained momentum during the unaddressed two-and-a-half months of violence in the state.
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The resumed formal political dialogue was chaired by AK Mishra, Special Advisor MHA which was participated by delegates of UPF and KNO led by Aaron Kipgen and Dr. Seilen Haokip respectively.
During the meeting, the UPF and KNO had reportedly urged the Centre to withdraw the clause for safeguarding the integrity of Manipur in the Suspension of Operation agreement which the Centre accepted and began talks for separate administration.
UPF Convenor, Aaron Kipgen said that we had clearly placed to the Centre that we would not be able to represent our people if the clause for safeguarding the integrity of Manipur in the Suspension of Operation Agreement is not withdrawn, which the Centre had considered and started a dialogue for separate administration.
While discussing the issue of separate administration, Aaron Kipgen said that the UPF and KNO representing the Kuki-Zo people put up our demand for Union Territory with legislative powers under the Constitution of India.
He also said that we have conveyed to the Centre that UPF and KNO are representatives of the Kuki-Zo people and our demand is Union Territory with legislative powers where forest and land rights will be our inherent rights.
He further pointed out that it was the first political dialogue for a separate administration where we discussed the contours or model of the separate administration.
"It is a historic moment for the Kuki-Zo people for the aged old political aspirations of the Kuki-Zo people finally taken into account", Aaron Kipgen asserted.
The next round of talks will be held in the first week of August.
The Kuki-Zo people had also held a solidarity peaceful sit-in Kangpokpi district on July 26 in support of the UPF and KNO talks with the Centre demanding separate administration.
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