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Source: The Telegraph
Imphal, Dec 19, 2008: The joint monitoring group today issued “strong instructions” to 19 tribal militant groups to refrain from abduction and other unlawful activities during a meeting at the First Manipur Rifles auditorium in Imphal today.

This is the fourth round of meetings between leaders of the groups and the JMG after the signing of a tripartite agreement on ground rules for suspension of operations between the home ministry, the Manipur government and the groups in Delhi on August 22 this year.

The groups belonging to various tribal communities have suspended operations with security forces since August 2005. The arrangement was formalised with the Delhi pact.

The groups come under two umbrella bodies — the United Peoples Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO).

The UPF comprises the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), Kuki National Front (KNF), United Kuki Liberation Front, Kuki Liberation Army (KLA/UPF), Zomi Revolutionary Army, Kuki National Front (S), Hmar Peoples Conference (D) and the Zou Defence Volunteer (UPF).

The KNO is made up of Kuki National Front (Military Council), Kuki National Front (Zougam), United Socialist Revolutionary Army, United Minority Liberation Army (Old Kuki), United Komrem Revolutionary Army, Zomi Reunification Front, Zou Reunification Front, Zou Defence Volunteer (ZDV/KNO), Kuki Revolutionary Army (Unification), Kuki Liberation Army (KLA/KNO) and the Kuki National Army.

This is the first time that the joint monitoring group met representatives of the two umbrella bodies on the same day. The committee today also met the groups separately. Later, they lunched together.

More than 15 representatives of the two groups turned up.

Principal secretary, home, D.S. Pooniah, who is the chairman of the group, presided over the meeting. Senior officials from state police, Assam Rifles, army, BSF and the CRPF also attended the meeting. A home ministry official was to attend the meeting but could not reach Imphal because of bad weather.

The issues that came up for discussion today include finalisation of designated camps, identity cards and also incidents of kidnap.

“The JMG issued strong instructions to the representatives to refrain from unlawful activities like kidnappings. The representatives made clarifications on their actions. The discussions went on smoothly and there is progress,” a source told this correspondent.

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