TODAY -

Kuki MLAs urge PM not to remove AR
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, August 10 2023: Ten Manipur tribal MLAs Thursday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to withdraw Assam Rifles from security duties in the violence-hit state, saying its personnel have been putting their lives at risks to create buffer zones between the two warring communities.

In a memorandum to the prime minister, the MLAs said India's oldest paramilitary force, the Assam Rifles, has been protecting the country internally and externally since its establishment.

The demand of the tribal MLAs came a day after 40 MLAs, mostly from the Meitei community, in a letter to the prime minister urged that the Assam Rifles need to be transferred from their present location of deployment and "trustworthy Central forces" along with state security can replace them to "neutralise and sanitise" all threats to peace, security and stability.

The 10 tribal MLAs said that till date, the Assam Rifles are jointly working hard with other central forces like the BSF, 1TBP, RAF, CRPF etc., to contain the situation in Manipur.

"We, the 10 Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribal MLAs from Manipur humbly wish to draw your kind attention and request your blessings and immediate intervention," they said and listed a few issues.

The tribal MLAs said since the outbreak of ethnic strife in Manipur in May 2023, the unabated violence has led to the creation of deep mistrust between the Kuki-Zo-Hmar tribals and Meitei communities "which has been reflected in splitting of local state administration and law enforcing agencies too" .

They said a myriad of central forces has been rushed in the state including the Indian Army, BSF, CRPF, RAF & ITBP etc.

and added the tribals have unwavering faith on the central forces, particularly the Assam Rifles, as they "stood the test of time and did their work without prejudice, bias, fear or compulsion".

"The Assam Rifles has majority of their troops from the Northeastern states of India and they have been guarding Manipur for very long, hence, they are aware of the local dynamics.

Though they have dealt the tribal miscreants also with hard hand but we the tribals have seen them putting their lives at risks to stand as a wall to create buffer zones in areas which are inhabited by both warring communities," they said in the memorandum.

"The Assam Rifles has been single-minded resolved to safeguard humanity, compassionate yet firm-handling of highly tense situation and unbiased conduct.

For these reasons, the Assam Rifles is being falsely blamed by Meiteis who are unable to execute their nefarious designs of targeting the tribals, the MLAs claimed The 10 MLAs claimed that the Manipur State Police has now started removing the Assam Rifles posts from key areas and also started lodging "false and fabricated FIRs" against the Assam Rifles to hinder and pressurise them from doing their duties.

"On behalf of all tribal communities, we the elected tribal representatives (MLAs) humbly pray to you not to remove the Assam Rifles from our state as it would harm and jeopardise our safety and security.

At the same time, we humbly pray you to control the state forces, curtail their powers and give direction to not violate the buffer zones manned by the central paramilitary forces for restoration of peace in the state in public interest," they said.


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