More than 30 militant groups operating in Manipur

Imphal: Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh on Monday said more than thirty militant groups, including major outfits such as United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and People's Liberation Army (PLA), were operating in the state.

Replying to a question in the state Assembly, Singh said Naga militant outfits such as National Socialist Council of Nagaland--Isac Muivah (NSCN-IM) and National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) were also operating in parts of state's hill districts.

After the state government had signed agreements with Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United People's Front (UPF), the security forces have stopped operation against the two groups, he said.

While KNO was formed by eleven small militant outfits, including Kuki National Front-Military Council (KNF-MC) and Kuki Revolutionary Army-Unification (KRA-U), UPF was also formed by small outfits, including Kuki Liberation Army (KLA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), Singh added.

AFSPA to remain in force

The controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) would not be withdrawn from Manipur because of continuing militant activities, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh today said.

Replying to a question in the House, Singh said that although the AFSPA was withdrawn from seven assembly constituencies in Imphal municipal area last year following protests from NGOs, the act would remain in force in all other areas in view of the militant activities.

On steps taken by his government to save the life of social activist Irom Chanu Sharmila, who has gone on a fast unto death demanding withdrawal of the Act, Singh said special facilities, including medical care and security, is being provided to her at the J N Hospital here.

Bureau Report