An observation of the present unrest in Manipur - Part 2 -

RK Somorjit Singh *

However passengers meant for Guwahati have been escorted safely by the armed forces and State police personnel for their destinations. Due to the lack of security arrangement on National Highway - 2, mass loot of essential commodities has been done by suspected Kuki Militants along with rioters at the Kangpokpi district of Manipur, from many trucks.

At the midnight of the 13th May, 2023, 15 (fifteen) houses were again set on fire at Torbung and Govindpur areas of Bishnupur district near Churachandpur district of Manipur by suspected Kuki rioters with the help of Kuki militants.

Again, it is a well known fact through history that most of the Kuki groups are expansionist in nature and war mongers migrating from one place to another through rioting and looting apart from killing unarmed population. In Myanmar they are not able to get along with the present and past Governments.

So, all these years they are active against the Government of Myanmar and illegally setting up many Kuki Militant groups, which the Government of Myanmar is trying to suppress them !

So, here lies the question, though there are so many ethnic groups in Myanmar, why only Kuki groups are crossing illegaly into Indian boundary and entering into Manipur and Mizoram State of India ?

And again why the Kuki people of Manipur and Mizo people of Mizoram are welcoming these foreigner Kukis from Myanmar in their respective districts, even providing false identities ? Even there were incidents of involvement of Church leaders in this process of giving shelters and forging documents trying to prove them as Indian Nationals !?!

On the other hand, many Meeteis/Meiteis are also separated and settled in Myanmar during the “Seven Years Devastation (1819-1825)” in the history of Independant Manipur before becoming a part of India. But they never try to cross the border illegally to settle in Manipur being law abiding citizens of a civilized Nation. And at the same time Meeteis/ Meiteis of Manipur also never try to bring them in Manipur respecting the law of the land and international laws.

In the meantime 10 (ten) Kuki MLAs are demanding a separate administration of Kukis. Now the picture is loud and clear that some years ago many Kuki militants altogether demanded a separate Kuki Homeland from Manipur.

Now, they have spreaded false news saying that “All India Radio” relay transmission is banned/stopped in Churachandpur district saying that they are separated from Manipur State and now became “Kuki Land”. And their arrogance is becoming open by claiming through writings like “Welcome to Mizoram” in areas like Kangpokpi district and Churachandpur district. Where they have dominating populace.

On the 18th May, 2023, the Kuki rioters with the help of Kuki militants pushed big boulders from the hilltop near the Kotlien area on NH-37. This occured around at 2 pm and one truck driver bringing petrol to Imphal was badly hurt.

But the State police forces posted nearby gave a funny reply while asking for filing an FIR that the boulders were due to wind which again makes drivers plying on the NH-37 unable to trust the State forces posted on the highways.

The peace loving people of Manipur have full faith in the Government of India that it will act using its highest level of wisdom and integrity to thwart such attempts by foreign hands to destablize the unity and integrity of the Nation.

If these unlawful elements are not controlled in the same manner which was done in J & K, Manipur may face a similar situation like J & K during 1990s where selected Hindu Pandits were targeted.

There are 50,000/- (Fifty thousand) Kasmiri Pandit Hindus who were pushed out from their ancestral land and live in other State of India. Similarly there are 10,000/- (ten thousand) Meitei/Meetei who are homeless people in their land.

And, I wish Government of India take bold action against those perpetrators trying to destroy the unity and peace of the State so that those foreign sponsored anti-social elements don’t repeat the same again in future, also showing that this land is governed by the rule of law, not by some the Scheduled Tribe list of Indian Union.

Many Kuki millitants holding sophisticated arms - like AK Rifles and others participated in the rally of Churachandpur which is very much visible in viral videos and local TV News Channels.

In the late afternoon, the participants started attacking the innocent Meetei/Meitei villagers and demolished so many houses after ransacking and burning them down.

Innocent Meitei/Meetei community including female population and children were beaten severely without any reason. So far 16 (sixteen) Forest Offices were set on fire in 3 (three) hill districts, viz - Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts of Manipur intentionally damaging totally the public properties.

One Godown of a “Licensed Arms Dealer” was completely vandalised and looted in Churachandpur, by the rioters. And one of the age old temple of Meitei/Meetei community, the “Kondong Lairembi” (A very sacred Goddess) at Moreh under the Tengnou-pal district of Manipur surrounded by the Kuki Community, who were settled illegally in recent years, was set on fire and totally demolished by the Kuki rioters.

And one important Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva, popularly known as “Mahadev of Koubru Leikha” located under Kangpokpi district was also vandalized and totally demolished by the Kukis. So far 8 (eight) temples in Churachandpur district were demolished by Kuki rioters. The Meetei/Meitei community people felt threatened and started retaliation against the Kukis. Many houses of Kukis in Imphal City and villages nearby hill sides were also demolished and set fire by Meitei youths in retaliation after the attacks on Meetei/Meitei community by the Kukis.

Some selected Churches which was supposed to be sponsored by the Kukis in the city and villages were also set on fire by the angry mob as a sign of retaliation after the attacks on innocent Meetei/Meiteis by the Kukis. At the same time some innocent Kukis also lost their lives during the retaliation by angry mob after the attacks by Kukis at Churachandpur and other areas.

So, due to the multiple incidents of violence in the State, the Central Government imposed Article 355 of the Indian Constitution, in Manipur for security rearrangement to handle the situation. But on the other side many arms were looted from the police stations/out posts by the angry Meetei/Meitei mob in the valley areas and Kukis in the hill areas. And at the same time many innocent Meetei/Meitei people were kidnapped and butchered in the hills after the riots of Chura-chandpur and its nearby areas.

Even one Manipur Police Commando personnel of Bishnupur district was shot dead and there were injured during an ambush by the Kuki Militants near the hill sides of Tronglaobi at Bishnupur district, Manipur. Not only that 2 (two) Assam Rifles personnel were also severely injured during the ambush by the Kuki Militants at Dolaithabi and Pukhao areas of Imphal East district of Manipur. And one personnel of Assam Rifles is declared dead as of now.

Thus, there is no meaning of suspension of operation (SoS) signed between Government of India and Kuki Militants looking at the recent incidents. Its been also reported that not only Kuki Militants under SoO with Government of India, many Kuki Militants based out of Myanmar are actively involved in this ongoing arson/riot/ambushes.

Though curfew is imposed in the State, the law and order situation in the hill areas of the State seems to be not under proper control. Many houses were still set on fire, in front of the security personnel of the Central Government at Churachandpur district. So far it has been reported officially that 73 (seventy three) lives were lost from both the communities and 5 (five) Meeteis/Meiteis are reported still missing (as on 15th May, 2023).

During the curfew hours, the law and order situation in the valley areas is completely under control for now. Many arms which were taken from the security outposts in the name of self defence were given back to the security personnel, only by the Meetei/Meiteis as a sign of obedience to the law of the land, whereas it is not so from the side of Kukis. Again a large number of vehicles including passenger and goods trucks are still stranded on the National Highways, unable to reach Imphal.


* RK Somorjit Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on 29 May 2023.

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