Imphal: Underground cadres from different outfits ‘surrendered’ to the Manipur government. In this regard, a programme christened as “a homecoming ceremony” for 31 cadres of different underground groups was held today at the Banquet Hall of 1stBattalion Manipur Rifles with Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh as chief guest. The 31 ‘surrendered’ cadres included 17 from KCP (PWG), 4 from UNLF, 6 from PREPAK, 3 from KYKL and 1 from PREPAK (VC), according to an official statement of the Manipur government.
The ‘surrendered’ cadres laid down arms before the chief minister, which consisted one M16 rifles, one M4 carbine, one lathod gun, one single barrel rifle, seven .32 pistols, three .22 pistols and one 12 mm bore pistol along with five cartridges, three lathod shell, one IED and three live rounds.
Speaking on the occasion, N Biren Singh welcomed the 31 cadres who had once left home and joined the underground groups for some reason and expressed words of appreciation on their coming back to the “mainstream.” He continued that Northeastern States including Manipur were earlier treated as regions with law and order and insurgency problems. However, with the coming up of the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, certain political changes could be seen, Biren claimed. Various development works had been taken up across the region while restoring healthy relationships among different communities inhabiting the State, he added.
The Chief Minister maintained that the Central Government had come up with mission-oriented programmes to ensure that all citizens should live together as one, leaving aside all differences. He further stated that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, which was earlier lifted from seven segments, had also been lifted from another 15 police stations. He continued that the State Government has been taking up various initiatives, under the guidance of the Prime Minister, to create a peaceful environment across the State.
Stating that the Government is opened for all forms of talk to bring back cadres of all underground groups to the “mainstream,” he reiterated the statement of the Union Home Minister that not a single bullet would be fired on those militants who want to return to normal lives and join the “national mainstream” and no FIR would be lodged against them unless they are involved in a heinous crime. He continued that the State Government would always go by the “Scheme of Surrender-Cum-Rehabilitation” and also assured to provide possible assistance even after the rehabilitation period to earn their livelihood.
N Biren appealed to the various security forces operating in the State to cooperate in the State Government’s effort to bring back members of underground groups to the mainstream, so that more cadres would come out to surrender. He also appealed to all active cadres of underground groups to come out and join the mainstream and asked to lay their hands in bringing development to our State.