Signatories to the Suspension of Operations (SoO) have started accusing Manipur government of taking them for a ride and then leaving them in a lurch. On Thursday United Minorities Liberation Army (UMLIA) observed its 8th raising day at the Harmonon camp in Chandel district. During the function, serious charges were leveled against the government by the speakers.

Speaking in the function K. Khaling, commander-in-chief of the outfit said that the government has backed out of all its commitments. “No fund has been given for the extension of the designated camp where there are now 51 former militants. As a result the inmates are facing problems. Payment of stipend to the former militants is also very irregular causing untold hardships since they cannot arrange even their own meals,” he said.

“Though the government had committed to provide vocational trainings to the former militants nothing has been done in this regard. The idea was that once the former militants leave the camp they should be able to earn comfortable income through various vocations. It was assured that the former militants would be given trainings in computer and tailoring. However government seems to have forgotten all about it,” he added.

The commander-in-chief further said that he and other ranking officials of the outfit had brought it to the notice of the Joint Monitoring Group.

The UMILA was established on September 17, 2006 for the protection of the minority tribes in the state. It has taken steps for the protection of the rights of the minority tribes in Manipur.

The alleged government negligence has sent a wrong message to the insurgents who might have started thinking of joining the national mainstream after signing the SoO. Militants of over 20 outlawed underground organisations had come over ground after signing it. In the recent past there had been some instances of violating the ground rules of SoO by some signatories. The government has been warning them saying that these would be brought to the notice of the Joint Monitoring Group.