End pact with Kuki-Zo groups, Manipur Assembly tells Centre

Ten Kuki-Zo MLAs were not present in Assembly; annual extension of pact ends on February 29; Manipur government representative skipped meeting to formalise extension, says a source

Updated - March 01, 2024 07:36 am IST

Published - February 29, 2024 11:07 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Manipur Legislative Assembly building. Photo: assembly.mn.gov.in via PTI

Manipur Legislative Assembly building. Photo: assembly.mn.gov.in via PTI

As the Manipur Assembly on February 29 passed a resolution to urge the Union Government to abrogate the suspension of operations (SoO) pact with Kuki-Zo insurgent groups, in effect since 2008, suspense prevailed over the extension of the agreement.

The 10 Kuki-Zo-Hmar legislators in the 60-member Assembly were not present in the House when the resolution was passed.

Also read | In a first, Manipur Police officially accuses Arambai Tengol of extortion, assault

The tripartite pact was signed in 2008 by the United Peoples’ Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella of 24 insurgent groups, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Manipur government. The annual extension of the pact lapses on February 29. 

‘For the sake of peace’

A source said that the Manipur government did not send its representative to a meeting called to formalise the extension of the pact for the next year. MHA officials did not respond to queries from The Hindu regarding the status of the agreement. 

Also read |Months after peace pact with United National Liberation Front, Manipur sees rise in extortion cases

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said the resolution was aimed at ensuring peace in the region. “The 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly on the 2nd day of its 5th session, unanimously resolved to urge the Central Government to completely abrogate the SoO pact with all the Kuki-Zo militant groups. This decision comes in the interest of ensuring peace and security in the region,” he wrote in a post on X on Thursday.

Tripartite agreement

During a short discussion in the Assembly, former CM O. Ibobi Singh and leader of the Congress party said that the SoO pact had been signed between the Assam Rifles and some Kuki militant groups in 2005. “It was done without the knowledge of the Manipur government. The State forces continued to arrest the militants. Another SoO was signed in 2008 with the participation of the State government,” Mr. Singh said.

The agreement was signed in the wake of the Kuki-Naga clashes of the 1990s when hundreds were killed. The militant groups were demanding an independent land for the Kukis. The main conditions of the pact were that the Kuki-Zo groups would surrender their weapons, join peace talks, and stay in designated camps.

Also read | Manipur government withdraws from Suspension of Operations agreement with militant groups

These groups have held several rounds of negotiation with the Union government, and had almost settled for the “local self governance” of Kuki-Zo tribal areas in Manipur till ethnic violence erupted between the tribal Kuki-Zo and the Meitei communities on May 3, 2023.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.