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Villagers resist militants in Manipur

By Ians English

Imphal, March 21: Villagers in Manipur appear to be fed up with the unending extortion by militants who have ostensibly signed defacto peace pact.

Some militants calling themselves members of two Kuki outfits, which had come overground after signing pacts with the state and central governments, have been extorting money from workers engaged in building a nine-kilometer road in Imphal East district.


On Sunday, March 20 two such militants came to the work place looking for a worker named Rajesh. Usually, a leader of the workers is asked to collect money on their behalf from the contractor.

However, the worker rushed out with his licenced double barrel gun. On seeing him with the gun, both the militants fled, informed sources said.

"Next time I may not be so lucky since the militants are armed to the teeth," Rajesh told the media.

"These groups had signed the suspension of operations with the government and as such they should be restrained," he added.

There have been allegations of extortion and kidnappings against the militants which are in contravention of the ground rules of the suspension of operations.

In most cases, the outfits simply deny the charges.

More than 20 outfits have come overground but the government has not initiated talks with any of them.

In Chandel district, people had taken out processions demanding shifting of the designated camps of such militants.


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