Cries for protecting Manipur's Integrity resonates across city
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 29 2023: In response to the clarion call of Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), lakhs of people from different sections of the society and communities took out a mass rally against Chin-Kuki narco terrorism, around Imphal City on Saturday.

People belonging to Meitel, Naga tribes, Meitei Pangal and other communities along with non-Ma-nipuris/non-locals joined the rally from THAU Ground, Thangmeiband and passed through Khoyathong, Nagamapal, Wahengbam Leikai, Keishampat, Keishamthong, Yaiskul and Moirangkhom before crossing Thumbu Thong and culminating at Hapta Kangjeibung, covering a distance of around 5 km.

The people participating in the rally continued to trickle in at the final destination even after the conclusion of meeting at the Hapta Kangjeibung.

During the massive rally, the participants raised slogans like "Protect Manipur's integrity", "Uproot Chin-Kuki Narco-Terrorists from Manipur", "Implement NRC", "No separate country in Manipur", "No separate administration in Manipur", "No political rights to outsiders", "Abrogate SoO agreement immediately", "Long Live Manipur", etc.

They also held placards inscribed with the slogans like "No one can supress us ", ' Chin - Kukis are enemies of forest and environment", "Terrorists have no rights in Manipur", "Manipur Government should show its power" .

During the public meeting held at Hapta Kangjeibung, five resolutions were adopted.

The resolutions included urging the legislators to convene a special session of the State Assembly by August 5, failing which future course of action to be taken up in accordance with the people's wishes; implementation of National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) in Manipur; uprooting narco-terrorists to end the conflict; no to any separate state or administration in Manipur; and submitting a memorandum of the aforementioned resolutions (excluding the first resolution) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Speaking at the meeting, COCOMI Consultative Committee member RK Nimai pointed out that UPF and KNO, the umbrella body of Kuki militants which signed the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the central government, had not only urged for removing the clause for safeguarding the integrity of Manipur, as mentioned in the preamble of the ground rules of the agreement, during the talks with the central government but also put forth the demand for a "Union Territory": Since this demand is being made, the demand by the people of Manipur for abrogation of SoO is now justified.

The state government is now more than qualified and at the right time to withdraw from the tripartite agreement, considering Manipur's integrity is being challenged.

Stating that the Meitei were not the ones who started the conflict, he said that the Chin Kuki mil itants began burning the houses and destroying the properties of Meitei people, which sparked emotional reaction from the latter and forcing the Meitei to take part in the conflict.

Truthfully, the conflict is between government and narco-terrorists.

COCOMI only extended its support to save the state.

Since Meitei are not the ones who started the conflict, there is no need for the community to talk with the central government.

What we need to do is to put forward our exact stand in the matter once the talks with those who had started the conflict are concluded.

Nimai then stressed the need for deliberating the long term aspects in detail during this conflict.

Temporary decisions or resolutions will not provide good results.

It is imperative to identify the true enemies, who, in this case, are the Chin-Kuki terrorists.

However, it would be wrong to move forward, regarding every Kuki as the enemy.

This is because if there is a shadow of disharmony and discordance, it will only serve as add-ons to separatist ideas.

Thus, we need to think every step or action carefully before acting on it, he asserted.

He continued that the lives of Manipuri people have been threatened twice in history, the first during the Seven Years' Devastation in 1819 and the second during the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891.The current conflict could be considered the third time that the lives of Manipuri people, as we know it, is under threat.

History has also witnessed the land's defeat at the hands of challengers during the era of kings due to disunity or rivalry between siblings.

The conflict of 2023 must not mark the end of Manipur just because different communities failed to unite, he contended, while remarking that a possible defeat is looming because of the hesitation in uniting.

COCOMI co-ordinator Jeetendra Ningomba stated that the on-going conflict should not be taken lightly but is being closely watched and deliberated by all.

It would not be wrong to say each of one is directly or indirectly involved in the conflict but the most important point is to identify who the real enemies are.

The flag of victory cannot be hoisted just because one has won the physical conflict.

There is a need to win the political conflict as well.

Thus, all steps or action should be to ensure a win in both the physical and political conflicts He further remarked that any step taken emotionally or sentimentally could lead to defeat.

COCOMI is not silent but has been discussing with the intellectual circle on how to solve the conflict.

He then urged the people to extend their support to the movement against narco-terror -ism.

It is not the time to dwell in fights or disagreements but to unite and work together to save the state, he contended, while expressing firm belief that the flag of victory could be hoisted only when concerted efforts are made.

COCOMI Consultative Committee member Yumnam Dilipkumar said that while no solution has been brought about to solve the conflict which has been going on more almost three months, the MI As/ ministers have also failed to yield any good results during their visits to Delhi.

Thus, they should stop going to Delhi at once, he.stated.

He then said that by standing against the integrity of Manipur, the 10 Kuki MLAs are standing against the people of Manipur and the rules as well.

The Speaker is at fault for not disqualifying the 10 MLAs till date.

Thus, he demanded for convening a session of the state Assembly and disqualify all MLAs who fail to attend the session, in addition to expelling them from Manipur as well.

The demonstration was held on a day when a delegation of 21 MPs from the opposition alliance INDIA arrived here to assess the ground situation.

Notably, ten MLAs from the Kuki community in Manipur had, in May, demanded a separate administration, stating that the administration had "miserably failed to protect" the Chin-Kuki-Zomi tribals.

Kukis, who have demanded a separate administration, have however not made clear the definition of a separate administration as also the areas for which they are claiming such a dispensation.

The committee that organ -ised the rally was also against the ongoing talks, reportedly being held in Delhi, between a home ministry team and former Kuki militants.

Sarat, a protester who came from the Bishnupur district, said, "After almost three months of arson, killings and torching of our houses, how can we give up our land" .

K Gandhi from the Uripok area, who participated in the rally, said, "We want the army to take action against militants" .

The rally, largest after the 2001 rally against the division of Manipur territory, had participants comprising men, women and elderly persons, raising slogans like "Long Live Manipur", "Stop Illegal Infiltration", "Implement National Population Register (NPR)", "No Division of Manipur", "Protect indigenous people", "Protect forest and Environment" and "Stop crime against women" .

The organisers of the rally led by COCOMI decided to submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restore peace and normalcy at the earliest.

The participants of the rally claimed that the current crisis in Manipur was started by the illegal immigrants.

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