Manipuris in Delhi call for peace; condemn divisive politics, aggression from external forces
Thousands of Meitei community on Sunday called for a return to peace and normalcy in Manipur already rocked by ethnic violence for the last month. Holding a peace demonstration held at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, the participants also unequivocally condemned divisive politics triggered by the drug mafia and armed militant groups (Chin-Kuki-Zo) and supported by their political class.
Manipur coordination committee, Delhi said "The mindless violence has resulted in the irreparable loss of life and property on both sides. Whether it is the Kukis or the Meiteis, the painful story of the victims is the same."
The press released further that, In most cases, it is the innocent civilians who face the brunt of this carnage.
"The burning of houses and gun battle between security forces and Kuki militant outfits continues till date."
It said, the rally held under the banner of Manipur Coordination Committee (Delhi), a conglomerate of Manipur CSOs & Student Organizations of Delhi, and supported by democratic groups from other parts of India, suggested a few points for the Government of India’s consideration.
The coordination committee listed a charter of demands to Bring back peace & harmony in Manipur to the Central and State Govt.
They alleged that this violence is orchestrated by the drug mafia and Kuki militants, and further endorsed by the political class. And the unassuming Meitei public has fallen prey to this provoked retaliatory action. Set the facts right against fake news/false propaganda Since the start of the violence in Manipur on 3 May 2023, there has been a lot of fake news and false propaganda being circulated in social media, and national and international News Channels.
Meiteis have been projected as the perpetrator of violence in the valley districts. However, the burning of Meitei houses in the Kuki-dominated areas of Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts is not brought to light, said the release.
It further that in the ensuing violence, both sides have suffered massive destruction of property and loss of lives, and such fake news is still circulating in social media is only aggravating the situation and is becoming a hurdle in bringing back normalcy which has resulted in creating a big division amongst the two communities.
The press release also said that even after 30 days when violence broke, several Meitei houses at Sugunu of Kakching district continued to be set on fire by Kuki militants on 3 June 2023. After ten days despite the deployment of the Indian army and para-military forces, the Meetei village of Torbung Bangla was set on fire by Kuki militants on 13 May. Even more, two houses were razed to the ground by Kuki militants in Dolaithabi, Imphal East on 20 May.
On the night of 3 June 2023, 200 Meitei houses, including the house of the local MLA, are burnt down by the Kuki militants. These show not only the quantum of vengeance but also a well-planned strategy to consolidate Kuki lebensraum (pace sought for occupation by a nation whose population is expanding) in several foothills of the Imphal valley and wipe out the Meiteis from these areas. So far, nearly 1800 families from 13 Meitei villages were completely wiped out from Churachandpur district, Manipur. Kuki militants selectively torched Meitei houses not once but thrice at Ingourok Chingmang at Leimakhong nearby 3 Leimakhong army camp. Strangely, the place where Meitei houses were burnt down repeatedly was guarded by Assam Rifles.
Moreover, all the shops owned by Meiteis at Leimakhong have been looted, and Kuki militants are now building bunkers inside abandoned Meitei houses.
Attack on the churches; but what about the antecedent? asked the Coordinating Committee, Delhi.
Several seminars are conducted using academic space across the country on Manipur violence. Each of these proceedings does not fail to mention vandalizing churches in the Imphal Valley. While this is an unfortunate turn of events, it was a retaliatory act driven by a violent mob psyche. The anger against the Kuki aggression orchestrated by Kuki militants led to retaliatory consequences that affected Kuki churches. Nevertheless, in the violent act of arson sanity prevailed and the Naga churches (also some Kuki churches) were left largely untouched, said the release.
"Unfortunately, Till now more than 3000 secret places of Sanamahi god of Sanamahi religion have been burnt down by Kuki militants and 11 temples of Sanamahi religion and 3 Hindu temples have been burnt down by Kuki militants. The first Ebuthou Pakhangba Temple of the Sanamahi religion was burnt down in Churachandpur on 27 April 2023 before seven days of actual violence happened on 3 May. In 2020, the Kounu temple was burned down by miscreants in the Kangpokpi district. Stop Illegal Infiltration from Myanmar The Kuki-Chin-Zo population of Myanmar and India, if put together outnumbers any indigenous population of Manipur. The uninterrupted migration across the border has led to an unnatural surge in the Kuki-Chin-Zo population, thus leading to huge demographic imbalances. During the Indian census of 1951 and 2011, the Kuki population has risen from 80,002 to 4,48,532."
"The unnatural growth of Kuki population has jumped to 5 times the population. The unnatural growth is due to illegal migration. Illegal immigration has been going on for many decades and it is mainly attributed to the long 4 term conflict in Myanmar and the Kuki Chin population spread largely around the porous border of India Myanmar border along Manipur, Mizoram up to Bangladesh. The imperative of implementing NRC as assured by Union Minister As assured by Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji on the implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) during his visit to Manipur, there is a necessity to identify all foreigners who entered Manipur after 1951. Implementation of the NRC in Manipur as envisaged for other parts of the Indian Union and the institution of the State Population Commission should now be on the Government of India’s top agenda. Ecological Threat and challenges due to Poppy Plantation Every informed citizen know that poppy plantation is and has been a huge threat to all humanity and Manipur. North Eastern states have been a victim of it environmentally and ecologically." quoted the release
"The scale of poppy cultivation in Manipur has spread across 15,497 acres of land in the hills between 2017 and 2023, according to data from the state's special anti-drugs unit, Narcotics, and Affairs of Border (NAB). Of the 15,497 acres of land where poppy cultivation was found in the past five years,13,122 acres were found in the past five years in the Kuki-Chin-dominated areas. It is also a known fact that most poppy plantations are supervised by armed miscreants from across the Indo-Myanmar border who have amassed massive profits out of illegal poppy plantations and drug smuggling. The current situation is likely to cause further Ecological imbalances leading to massive deforestation, irregular rainfalls, muddy flash floods, and rise in temperature due to which the state is facing huge challenges in disaster management for the last decade."
Poppy Plantation and ecological threats are affecting not just Manipur but the entire North East and the country at large. Narco-Terrorism and underlying nexus Narco-terrorism is a huge threat to national security and there is enough evidence of armed militants involved in SoO (Suspension of Operation) and other groups who are also not involved in the SoO agreement to be directly involved and funding poppy 5 plantation and drug trafficking which has directly or indirectly reached political involvement of many legislatures. The ongoing civil war in Myanmar is also resulting in the involvement of many Kuki militants who are largely Myanmar Nationals and resulting in the failure of Law and order situation in Kuki-dominated areas. Manipur is now under threat to become the new Golden Triangle and if this remains unchecked this will result in a massive national security threat and lead to irreparable damage.
Topography Land laws and Land rights Manipur has been facing a unique problem with all of the states 90% of the population resides in the 10% of the valley land in Imphal and surrounding areas. Anyone can come and buy land including the non-indigenous population whereas the Meiteis who are in the general category cannot buy any land in the hills which constitutes 90% of the State's Land. There is an imbalance in the right to possession of land, creating a rift between the valley dwellers Meiteis, and the hill dwellers. Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms Act, 1960 needs to be reviewed. The entire state of Manipur should be declared “Hill State”, and the divide between hills and valleys must be erased.
They demand to bring back peace & harmony in Manipur, Enforce the rule of law and protect the lives and properties of Meetei and Kukies, and Constitutional protection of Meetei and Meetei Pangal (Manipur Muslim) people of Manipur.
Protect religious places for both Sanamahi temple, Hindu temple, and churches in Manipur, Stop Illegal infiltration from Myanmar, Stop Narco-Terrorism, Protect Manipur Hills from Ecological threat and challenges due to Poppy Plantation, demanding immediate abrogation of SoO pact with Kuki militants and disarming Meetei youths ( No disarming Meitei youths without abrogation of SoO pact with Kuki militants), Stop making another Golden Triangle in Manipur hills, Maintain and protect the co-existence and territorial and administrative integrity of Manipur, Take action against foreign Militants and protect the national security of India, Constitutional protection of the Meiteis, said the release.