A damaged house at Loibol Khunau village in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district. , Photo Credit: PTI
Manipur Tribals Forum, Delhi (MTFD) has written to the Central Government under Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Lishemba Sanajaoba’s alleged role has been sought to be probed. Violent ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur on 3 May between the dominant Meitei community and the Kuki-Zomi community.
The MTFD, which had approached the Supreme Court seeking its intervention days after the violence broke out in Manipur, held a press conference in Delhi on Wednesday to support the Kuki-Zomi community’s demand for imposition of President’s rule in the state and to initiate the process. The demand was reiterated. To create a separate administration for them.
More urgently, the MTFD urged the Manipur government to ensure that the mortal remains of tribal people killed by Meitei extremists, which lie at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences and the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences, are preserved and identified. done on priority basis.
politics of polarization
The organization alleged that the violence against the Kuki-Zomi-Mizo-Hamaar communities in Manipur was being perpetrated by extremist Meitei groups such as Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Lepun, who they said received weapons from state security forces strongholds in Manipur. It was “allowed” to steal. Imphal Valley. On the other hand, MTFD said that the Kuki-Zomi villagers are using handmade arms and ammunition and some licensed guns for their defence.
MTFD general secretary WL Hanjsing said Manipur was witnessing “politics of polarisation” ever since the N Biren Singh government came to power. “The Kuki people have traditionally been the closest geographic neighbors of the Meitei people in the valley for the longest period of time. This is a classic example of seeking an enemy to consolidate power,” Mr Hanjsingh said.
Arambai Tenggol and Meetei Lipun gained popularity as cultural youth organizations only about four to five years ago, and many people in Manipur had not heard of their activities until a few months ago. While public statements suggest that Meetei Lepun owes his allegiance to Mr. Sanajaoba, who is not only an MP but also the titular king of Manipur, Arambai Tenggol is known to be pro-state government and has consistently Have countered the protest against the state government.
Arambai Tenggol’s social media posts show public support for state government policies such as a “war on drugs” campaign to clean up opium cultivation in mountainous areas and clearing forest lands of “illegal encroachments” to preserve them campaign of These are policies maintained by cookie organizations that are discriminatory and meant to target their community. The Chief Minister has participated in several public programs organized by these organizations over the years.
militants are involved
Mr Hanjsing alleged that valley-based groups of Meitei rebels who surrendered to the state government were being absorbed into Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Lepun. The MTFD claimed that in return they were leading them in violence against the Kuki-Zomi-Mizo-Hamar communities, adding that the groundwork for this had been being done for months in collaboration with the state government.
In January this year, 43 cadres – mostly from Meitei underground organizations fighting for the restoration of Kangleipak statehood – surrendered their weapons in the presence of the chief minister and Mr Sanajaoba, in an event the state government branded Was. a “homecoming”.
In this context, MTFD stressed the need for a separate administration, saying that merely providing relief is not a permanent solution. It argued that if new states and union territories like Jharkhand, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh could be created, the same could be done in Manipur.
It also demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe into the violence, something that Home Minister Amit Shah had already stated in his peace talks with civil society groups in the state during his visit.
MTFD also clarified that it is pinning its hopes entirely on the Central Government and the Home Minister to resolve this crisis. Mr. Hanjsingh also claimed that the story of the state government was constantly changing. “First, they said it was opium cultivators, then they said illegal immigrants and now they are saying militants and terrorists, though the Chief of Defense Staff has rejected any notion of linking violence to militancy ,” They said.
The immediate trigger for the violence was a March 27 order of the Manipur High Court, which sought to recommend to the state government the inclusion of the Meiteis in the list of Scheduled Tribes. At least 115 people have been killed in the violence that first started in Churachandpur district and then spread across the state. The Manipur High Court order has already been challenged.
Meanwhile, Kuki-Zomi-Hamar student organizations in Delhi staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday afternoon, demanding immediate imposition of President’s Rule in Manipur and a separate administration for the Kuki-Zomi-Hamar communities. Hundreds of students participated in the protest and paid tribute to all those killed in last month’s violence. He also handed over his demands by giving a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office.