Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday announced that the signing of the peace treaty with a prominent insurgent group is considered as a major achievement of the BJP government.
Speaking to the media persons at Imphal International Airport after returning from a four-day visit to the Centre, N Biren Singh said that he cannot reveal the details of the signing of the peace deal and is confidential for now.
At the airport, he was given a rousing welcome by a large crowd who waved the tricolour at his arrival. Later, BJP karyakartas and supporters gave him a warm reception by organising a function at the BJP Bhavan.
Speaking to the media, he expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah. The historic peace treaty with the proscribed insurgent group was signed under the initiatives undertaken by Amit Shah, he said.
The representatives of the armed rebel group and the government of India signed the peace deal on Wednesday. Making the announcement, Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday said the group is one of the oldest militant groups in Manipur.
“A historic milestone achieved!!! Modi govt’s relentless efforts to establish permanent peace in the Northeast have added a new chapter of fulfilment as the (valley group) signed a peace agreement, today in New Delhi,” Shah said in an X (formerly Twitter) post.
“The valley-based armed group of Manipur has agreed to renounce violence and join the mainstream. I welcome them to the democratic processes and wish them all the best in their journey on the path of peace and progress,” the home minister added.
The peace agreement took place days after several other extremist organisations were banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The decision was taken after the Centre felt these organisations are indulging in attacks on and killing of security forces, police and civilians in Manipur, as well as activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India.
In a statement, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) said that this was the “first time a valley-based Manipuri armed group has agreed to return to mainstream by abjuring violence and agreeing to honour the Constitution of India and laws of the land”.
The agreement will not only bring an end to hostilities between the group and security forces which have claimed precious lives on both sides over the last more than half a century but also provide an opportunity to address the longstanding concerns of the community. The group’s return to the mainstream will also encourage other valley-based armed groups to participate in the peace process in due course, the MHA stated.
The development came just days after Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said his government was holding talks with an Imphal Valley-based insurgent group. He had ensured that a peace accord would be signed soon.
Manipur has been witnessing incidents of ethnic violence since May 3 this year, after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. More than 180 people have been killed since the violence broke out in the state.