TODAY -

Kuki Black Day: The Day the Kukis Will never forget to remember!

T.S Haokip *

Sahnit Ni (Black Day) Observation - 'Lest We Forget' departed soul since '90s at Saikul :: 13th September 2016
Sahnit Ni (Black Day) - 'Lest We Forget' departed soul since '90s at Saikul on 13 September 2016 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam



The 2nd of September 1992 was an auspicious occasion for the family of D. Touthang of Moltuh village, who took his children to their maternal parents, a Kuki tradition called Naopui, wherein the maternal parents pray for and bless the children so brought to them. The headlines in the news next day of Mr. Doukhosei Touthang and his Family numbering six including a 2 year old child, being massacred on their way from Moltuh Village to Aisan village, sent a wave of shock, anger and a feeling of insecurity amongst the Kukis.

The news of the murder of a Kuki village chief and his aide the following day and another news of 2 Kuki men found death, hand tied and head chopped off, which later became a trademark for the NSCN IM killings, and the murder of 2 Kuki school going children, all in a span of 2 days confirmed what was dreaded. The NSCN IM has finally made their agenda public which they have had since the 1960s, of grabbing the lands and lives of the Kukis. Quit notices were served and taxes levied to the Kukis in their own land!

The deadline served to the Kukis to leave their ancestral lands and homes in Tamenglong District was 15-09-93 The Kuki men who had left everything but their family as ordered were stopped mid way, blindfolded, paraded and slaughtered. All but two escaped, who'd later testify the inhumane acts of the NSCN IM. One Hundred and eight innocent men were mercilessly butchered on the 13th of September 1993 alone.

More than 900 innocent Kukis were murdered and tens of thousands rendered homeless by this evil design infamously known as "ethnic cleansing of the Kukis by the NSCN IM" .

Since then, the Kukis have observed this 13th day of September as a day of mourning- Kuki Black Day. It is a way of giving tribute to the departed souls, whose lives were taken just because they were Kukis and to seek justice for the irreparable loss of thousands rendered homeless, hundreds orphaned and hundreds Widowed Kukis.

Nothing has been done by the concerned authorities to the perpetrators of the Kuki genocide. There can be no second guesses on who these armed infiltrators who massacred the Kukis were, after many eye witnesses accounts, mostly of women and survivors, vividly testified the identities, language spoken and the outlook and numbers which resembled only one group, the NSCN IM.

This is a common fact known to all but the judiciary so far failed to acknowledge this crucial point in their non-enthusiastic approach for fool proof evidence to punish the perpetrators and thence simply dismissed the same as inter ethnic differences.

The so-called ethnic clash was not an ethnic clash. It was an evil design by an armed group to cleanse the Kukis in its entirety and grab their lands to stake claim for greater Nagaland. It was a merciless attack on defenseless innocent Kukis. The Kukis after having lost hundreds of innocents and thousands of their houses burnt down in defense might have caused few casualties, but to term that as ethnic differences would be to overlook the hidden agenda of cleansing the Kuki community by the Manipur Naga ultras.

When armed infiltrators attacked Buning Kuki village, the militants, after having burnt down the entire village, separated children on the basis of gender and all the male children were inhumanely killed - children thrown up in the air and speared; children tied to trees and arrow shots practiced on them, to name a few.

According to Vahnu, now residing in Saparmeina, she could save her two sons then a 2-years old and a 3 months boy by dressing them as baby girls! This selective killing of male childs has its obvious impacts on the Kukis, whose agrarian household economy depended majorly on a male earning member of the family. It was designed so to be.

One thing which still baffles the survivors is the fact that before every attack on a Kuki village, an operation would be conducted by state security forces where not only all licensed arms would be collected but it was made sure the village was without any protective objects whether licensed or country made. The stage was usually set for an easy attack.

The then Manipur Govt. under Rishang Keishing had faced flaks from various quarters on this particular issue. The Kuki Innpi Sadar Hills president, Pu Lalkhohen khongsai in the State Govt initiated talks with UNC at MBC, Dewlahlane 1993 had strongly voiced this issue and the double sidedness of UNC in preaching peace in medias, but in reality continuing their merciless massacre on the Kukis in cohorts with the NSCN IM.

Not surprisingly, just few minutes after the said meeting, the Kuki Innpi Sadar Hills president was pulled down from his bus by 5 armed youths, speaking in Tangkhul language as per eye witnesses and his mutilated body with hundred and eleven cuts and wounds was found a day later. Thousand similar tales to tell of those time!

Twenty-five years down the line, many things have changed politically, socially and economically but justice for the 1000 Kukis remained a distant dream. The Kuki Innpi is unveiling a monolith on the 13th of September at Churachandpur, with all the victims name of the NSCN pogram embossed on it.

It is not an endeavour to seed enmity between the Kukis and Manipur Naga communities, rather it is a noble act of remembering the Kuki bravehearts in whose death the Kukis of today has an unifying cause to stand together as one.

While few are apprehensive about Kuki Black Day being observed, it is the general feeling of most of the Kukis that, it is more of a day of remembrance than vengeance, more of a day of love than hatred and most importantly it is day of Unity for the Kukis!


* T.S Haokip wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a freelancer, consultant and development professional, presently based at Mumbai and can be contacted at haokip8win(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on September 11, 2018 and reposted on September 14 on the occassion of Black Day.



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