Manipur Cabinet led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday decided to withdraw from tripartite talks with two militant groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA).

Following the rallies held at Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts and a clash that took place with police in Kangpokpi district, the Manipur cabinet reviewed the law and order situation in various districts, a press release said.

Several people, including some policemen, were injured after a protest rally against some parts of the state being declared as protected areas turned violent today. Security forces had to use force to combat the mob in the Kangpokpi district. A video showed some protesters throwing stones at the security forces.

The Cabinet, according to an official statement, noted that the rallies were organized for a cause which is unconstitutional and the rallies, therefore, were illegal.

“After detail deliberation, Cabinet decided to withdraw the State Government from tripartite talks SoO (Suspension of Operation) agreements with 2 hill-based insurgent groups, namely the Kuki National Army (KNA) and the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) whose leaders hail from outside the State,” an official statement said.

The ZRA president is a Myanmarese while the KNA is led by one Hoakip who is from Nagaland.

“All the indigenous people of the state are with the state government. The clash with police took place particularly in one district after issuing an eviction notice, and the protesters are being influenced by these SoO groups,” the statement said.

A source in the Manipur government told ANI that the protesters are openly going against the constitutional provisions of the Indian government.

The Cabinet also reaffirmed that the State Government will not compromise on steps taken to protect the State’s forest resources and for eradicating poppy cultivation. Show cause notices were issued to the DC and SPs of Churachandpur and Tengnoupal for allowing a rally on Friday in violation of prohibitory orders under CrPC 144.

Strong action will be taken against officers responsible for lapses in security.

According to the government, the protection of wildlife sanctuaries is the primary responsibility of the Central Government.

“The sanctuaries are guarded and announced under the provision of the Central Government. Reserved forest areas also totally come under the responsibility of the Central Government,” it said, adding that therefore, the state government cannot touch these protected areas without the Central government’s permission.

“Encroachments are happening everywhere be it protected or reserved forest areas and they are planting poppies and running the drugs business. This is not acceptable,” the source further said. (