Assam Rifles sets up skill development centre in conflict zone


New Delhi, Oct 14 : In a first-of-its-kind initiative, Maj Gen Alok Naresh, IG, Assam Rifles (South), has inaugurated a skill development centre in the conflict-hit Churachandpur district in Manipur. The officials present on the occasion termed it as a historic step taken by Assam Rifles to empower SoO (Suspension of Operations) carders. The skill development centre has been set up at an SoO camp, which is expected to bring SoO cadres into the mainstream. Maj Gen Alok Naresh said, "The endeavour of this initiative is to empower the trainees to successfully compete with their counterparts in the professional and social domain." He coordinated with the Zomi Revolutionary Organisation (ZRO) officials, Humanism Foundation and NSDC to provide assistance in arranging equipment for skill development training. The training will be organised in multiple phases of 30 days each. The first phase that commenced on Wednesday will include training in skills like sewing, carpentry and IT training. Training for subsequent phases will be upgraded to other result-oriented skills based on the feedback from the trainees. The new initiative comes in the backdrop of a tripartite agreement between the Centre, the Manipur government and the Kuki-Zomi insurgent groups for Suspension of Operations to enable talks and formulate a framework for resolving the insurgency. The Zomi Revolutionary Organisation (ZRO) or Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA) was one of the first insurgent groups to sign the agreement in August 2005. Consequently, an umbrella organisation, called UPF, which was designated as a political platform for insurgent groups, was established and all tribal insurgents groups were invited to become a part of it. Subsequently, the ZRO President became the first Chairman of UPF. In August 2008, the other insurgent groups also entered into an agreement with the government to facilitate peace talks. Consequent to the signing of the tripartite agreement, the first designated SoO camp of ZRA called 'Muvanlai Camp' was established in New Teikot on September 17, 2010. /IANS


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