The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an umbrella body of several Imphal-based civil society organisations, on Tuesday urged the Centre not to hold talks with Kuki militant groups claiming that members of those bodies are responsible for the current turmoil in the state.

The influential group in Manipur representing the majority Meitei community also claimed that members of Kuki militant groups are “foreigners”.

“We have received inputs from sources in the media that the government of India is scheduled to hold talks with the Kuki outfits on Wednesday. We are totally against it,” COCOMI Convenor Jitendra Ningomba told a press conference at Imphal.

The administration should not engage in dialogue with any of the Suspension of Operations (SoO) groups.

The SoO was signed by the Centre, the Manipur government, and two Kuki militant groups, the Kuki National Organisations and the United Peoples Front. The agreement was first inked in 2008 and has been renewed on a regular basis since then.

“We are opposed to any talks between Kuki militant groups and the Indian government because those groups are made up of foreign nationals,” Ningomba added.

He stated that the COCOMI will hold a rally on July 29 to urge its demand that the state’s geographical integrity be preserved and that no separate administration be permitted.

Ten tribal MLAs from Manipur’s Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group have requested the Centre to establish a separate administration for their community in the wake of the violent clashes between the Meiteis and tribals.

Meanwhile, at a separate press conference in New Delhi, COCOMI spokeswoman Kh Athouba accused the state and union governments of failing to do enough to prevent violence in Manipur.

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