The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) on Sunday appealed to the Union Government to remove the Assam Rifles from Manipur, citing the Assam Rifles’ alleged close ties with "illegal immigrant narco-terrorists".
COCOMI media coordinator Somorendro Thokchom claimed in a release that "with the evident close ties of the Assam Rifles with the illegal immigrant narco-terrorists and the Chin-Kuki Narco terrorists, the people of the state have completely lost their trust in the AR regime".
It alleged that the present crisis is caused by illegal immigrants from Myanmar who crossed the Chittagong Hill tract of Bangladesh to Manipur. They have disrupted the state’s demography, destroyed the forest areas with poppy plantations, and even endangered the indigenous people by meddling with the central and state politics, it claimed.
“The Assam Rifles has always been stationed in the Manipur and Myanmar borders. Had the AR done their duty properly and checked the influx of the illegal immigrants, the disruptive chain of events that followed would have never occurred and the present would not have even happened,” it read.
“AR col Burari (1998-99), Manipur police personnel Letming Haokip, AR jawan Thangkhogin Haokip and 39th AR commandant Jasjit Singh were caught involved in the drug trade by the Mizoram police and Assam police. There are many more similar cases of AR personnel being caught involved in the illegal drug trade which led to the people losing trust in the AR,” it stated.
It alleged that even in the present conflict, there are many accounts of AR personnel working with the narco-terrorists on their unabated onslaughts on innocent villagers and threatening national security. It accused AR of disregarding their duty as a soldier to build trust with the people and make them feel secure with the nation. Remove AR from Manipur and instead deploy the central forces who will uphold the national security, it stated.
It also appealed to the private transport agencies to refrain from being involved in the transport of the central security forces, cautioning against untoward incidents of confrontations during the agitations by the masses.