Manipur Ends Peace Deal With 2 Rebel Groups Over Poppy Cultivation Row

Manipur Ends Peace Deal With 2 Rebel Groups Over Poppy Cultivation Row

Manipur is reclaiming protected forest areas from poppy cultivators (File)


The Manipur government has withdrawn from the tripartite talks and suspension of operations signed with the armed tribal groups Kuki National Army (KNA) and Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA).

It was reported KNA and ZRA insurgents have been instigating poppy cultivators in Manipur against the government, which has been taking action against illegal poppy cultivators and destroying poppy fields in forest lands, especially in reserve and protected areas.

Friday’s protest rallies against the state government over this matter in three districts were also allegedly backed by KNA and ZRA insurgents.

A senior Manipur government official said the cabinet at a Friday meeting decided to withdraw from the tripartite talks and the agreement signed with the KNA and ZRA, and the central government.

The Manipur government took the decision after violent protests were seen in Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts on Friday over the state government’s crackdown on poppy cultivation.

The centre and the Manipur government had signed the tripartite agreement and the suspension of operations deal with the KNA and ZRA in August 2008.

Under the agreement, several hundred KNA and ZRA insurgents had come overground. However, the central government is yet to come to the negotiating table.

As part of the “War Against Drug Mission”, the Manipur government has been destroying poppy fields and evicting settlers from reserved and protected forest areas.

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