Manipur CM N Biren welcomed 31 cadres of different militant groups at 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles on Wednesday. N. Biren Singh welcomed the 31 cadres who had once left home and joined the militant groups for some reason and expressed words of appreciation for their coming back to the mainstream. He continued that the Northeastern States including Manipur were earlier treated as regions with law and order and insurgency problems.

However, with the coming up of the Central Government, certain political changes could be seen. Various development works had been taken up across the region while restoring healthy relationships among different communities inhabiting the State, he added. The CM said that the Central Government had come up with mission-oriented programmes to ensure that all citizens should live together as one, leaving aside all differences.

He further stated that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, which was earlier lifted from seven segments, had also been lifted from another 15 Police Stations. He continued that the State Government had been taking up various initiatives, under the guidance of the Prime Minister, to create a peaceful environment across the State. Stating that the Government is open to all forms of talk to bring back cadres of all UG groups to the mainstream, he reiterated the statement of the Union Home Minister that not a single bullet would be fired on those militants who want to return to normal lives and join the National mainstream and no FIR would be lodged against them unless they are involved in a heinous crime.

He continued that the State Government would always go by the Scheme of Surrender-CumRehabilitation and also assured to provide possible assistance even after the rehabilitation period to earn their livelihood. N. Biren appealed to the various security forces operating in the State to cooperate in the State Government’s effort to bring back members of UG groups to the mainstream so that more cadres would come out to surrender.

He also appealed to all active cadres of UG groups to come out and join the mainstream and asked them to lay their hands in bringing development to our State. It may be mentioned that under the Revised Scheme for Surrender-Cum-Rehabilitation of Militants in the North East State, 2018 of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, rehabilitation benefits given to the surrendered cadres include a one-time financial grant of Rs 4 lakh to each surrendered cadre, which is to be kept in a bank in their names as a fixed deposit for a period of three years, monthly stipends of Rs 6000 per person and incentives for surrendered weapons.

They will stay in a rehabilitation camp for three years. The 31 surrendered cadres included 17 from KCP (PWG), 4 from UNLF, 6 from PREPAK, 3 from KYKL and 1 from PREPAK (VC). The surrendered cadres laid down arms before the Chief Minister, which consisted one M16 Rifles, one M4 Carbine, one Lathod gun, one Single Barrel Rifle, seven 32 Pistol, three 22 Pistol and one 12 mm bore Pistol along with five cartridges, three Lathod Shell, one IED and three live rounds