Imphal, July 19: Umbrella body of the Kuki rebel groups – United People’s Front (UPF) has officially demanded separate hill state within the territory of Manipur. The demand to curb out a hill state from within the boundary of Manipur was put up during the recently held political dialogue on June 17, this year at New Delhi.
UPF is the apex body of rebel group KNF-P; ZRO; HPC-D; UKLF; KRA; KNA; KNF-Samuel and KNF-P. The group along with another apex body of Rebel groups Kuki National Organisation (KNO) signed suspension of Operation with the Government of India and Manipur Government on August 22, 2008. Following the signing of the Suspension of Operation, the Manipur Government set up five designated camps at Vangai range and Nathajang in Churachandpur district, Chelap in Chandel district and Shamusang and Sejang in Senapati district since January 2009.
A document made available with the Imphal Times disclose the Charter of Demand submitted by the United People’s Front (UPF) to the government of India through Satyendra Garg, Joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, who chaired the tripartite talk held at a hotel in New Delhi on June 17.
The top priority demand submitted by the UPF is creation of a Hill State within the state of Manipur.
The umbrella body demanded “CREATION OF AN AUTONOMOUS HILL STATE WITHIN MANIPUR” by extending the Provision of Art. 244 A of the Indian Constitution.
The outfit also demanded Rehabilitation of the armed cadres by establishing separate Army Regiment that shall be deployed for local and national defence only; handsome relief packages; ex-gratia to their family members; and unconditional withdrawal of all cases pending against the organisation and its members.
The charter of demand submitted by the UPF to the central government also elaborated on how the new hill state to be carved out from within the state of Manipur. It said the new state shall have a Council of Ministers with the Chief Minister at the head to aid and advise the Governor in the exercise of his functions in relation to the Autonomous State.
It also demanded a separate Advocate General to give advice to the Autonomous Hill State government on all legal matters besides having a Legislature for Autonomous Hill State which shall consist of the Governor and the Legislative Assembly. The new state should also have 2 Member of Parliament (LS), one each for North and South, respectively. The Autonomous Hill State shall also have One Member of Parliament (RS).