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Home > News > PTI

Manipur: Tripartite talks on the cards

October 26, 2004 15:06 IST

Manipuri organisations that are against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act may hold discussions in the first week of November with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister Shivraj Patil. Thiscould be followed by tripartite talks involving the state government, state Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said on Tuesday.

"Representatives of Apunba Lup, an umbrella body of 32 Manipuri organisations, are involved in talkswith Governor S S Sidhu on the issue and, if necessary, will talk to the prime minister and the home minister," he told reporters here.

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He said they were "tentatively scheduled" to come to Delhi in the first week of November for talks with the central leaders. "If the Centre approves, we will also have joint talks with them and the Centre," Singh said.

The Apunba Lup has been spearheading protests against the Special Powers Act in the northeastern state following the alleged custodial killing of Manorama Devi by Assam Rifles jawans in July.

The home minister had held a round of talks with representatives of Apunba Lup once earlier, but nothing concrete was achieved. Singh said there had been an "excellent improvement" in the ground situation in Manipur, which had become "almost peaceful."

"However, we are trying to achieve complete peace," he added. The chief minister said his government had appealed to all underground organisations to come forward for talks.

"We are always ready to go to the dialogue table," he said. Singh also said his government favoured stationing of the Assam Rifles in the state and was deploying them as necessary.

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