Kukis rally for 'separate administration'
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, November 29 2023: As part of the nationwide protest launched by Kuki-Zo kindred tribes, thousands of people marched in nine towns and cities and different villages across the country to mount pressure on the central government for settling the demand for 'separate administration' for the Kuki-Zo people in Manipur.

In Kangpokpi district, the demonstration was organised by Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), Sadar Hills under the aegis of Zo-United, a Kuki-Zo organisation for all Kuki-Zo tribes in Manipur at Kangpokpi town and Saikul hill town.

The rally, however, in the border town of Moreh in Tengnoupal district was not held as security forces prevented people from joining the rally while the rally in Tengnoupal district headquarters was restricted to local roads as security forces barred protestors from taking the NH-102 road.

No untoward incident happened in the border town and district headquarters.

Kuki-Zo people in large number came out in Kang pokpi to join the nationwide rally which kicked off from Nute Kailhang at 12.30 pm.

The protestors marched towards SP Kangpokpi office via NH-2 to submit a memorandum to the Union home minister through DC Kangpokpi.

Shops, schools and private institutions in the district remained closed for the day.

The protestors held placards inscribed with slogans such as 'Separate Administration is the only solution', 'Tribal area, tribal government' and 'No solution, No rest', etc.

In the memorandum submitted to Union home minister, Zo-United said that resolution remains elusive to the nearly seven months violence in Manipur and hence it is imperative to underscore to the Central government that the unfortunate episode was not a haphazard eruption of violence but rather the outcome of a meticulously orchestrated scheme by the person heading the state government and his associates.

It also said that the 'War on Drugs' extended its focus to encompass Kuki-Zo kindred tribes as both the chief minister and local media characterized the community as 'poppy cultivators'.

According to Zo-United, separate administration' is a must as the Kuki-Zo tribes have been forcibly displaced from the capital (Imphal) and the affluent valley regions rendering any prospect of return unfeasible.

Crucial governmental and private educational institutions, technical establishments, healthcare facilities, administrative offices and the sole airport in the state, all are located in Imphal, thereby becoming inaccessible to Kuki-Zo community.

Another important factor has been that the state government in collusion with all its key organs and the police have unequivocally aligned themselves with the Meeteis.

Units of state police commando have actively spearheaded assaults on tribal villages.

Additionally, the prospects of equitable treatment in matters of government recruitment, job placements and other governmental engagements appear increasingly bleak for Kuki-Zo community.

Another factor has been that government officials belonging to tribal communities including Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are presently impeded from accessing Imphal thereby rendering them incapable of fulfilling their duties on behalf oftheir constituencies.

Regrettably, there has been a complete absence of assistance from the state government.

Moreover, essential aid from the Central government including provisions such as food and other necessities face obstruction thereby necessitating redirection through the neighbouring state of Mizoram due to impediments imposed by Meetei groups, preventing the transit of materials to tribal regions.

It also said that obstruction caused by Meetei groups on the highway leading to the mainland has rendered it impossible for Kuki-Zo to dispatch any documents/parcels through either the governmental or private postal systems.

Another factor the Zo-United mentioned in the memorandum that prompted the community to demand 'separate administration' has been that collective sum of tribal districts possesses only a solitary fully equipped government hospital, namely the district hospital in Churachandpur, and shortages and insufficiency of crucial medicines and medical apparatus afflicted the foundational medical facilities within tribal regions.

It also claimed that tribal populace of Manipur has been severely deprived of entitlement rights with regard to resource allocation as out of Rs 21,900 crore resource allocation in the state only a mere Rs 419 crore had been sanctioned in the hills while Rs 21,481 crore had been sanctioned in the valley during the period 2017-2023.Further, the memorandum said that persistent flow of blood and the pervasive discrimination endured have engendered an insurmountable level of distrust and animosity between the Kuki-Zo and the Meetei community.

The only solution to alleviate these tensions is the establishment of a separate administration for the community, stated Zo-United in the memorandum.

Our Churachandpur correspondent informed that the rally in Churachandpur town kicked off from Lamka public ground, Hiangtam Lamka at 10.30 am.

The rally was backed by Joint Philanthropic Organisation (JPO) in terms of arrangement and logistics.

The rally flagged off by Christian Goodwill Mission finance secretary N Neihsial took Tipaimukh road, Red Cross road and then to Tedim road before culminating at Wall of Remembrance near DC Churachandpur office, where a short programme was held and submitted a memorandum to Union home minister Amit Shah.

According to Zo United convener Albert Renthlei, the rally was organised to speed up demand for separate administration for Kuki, Zomi, Hmar and Mizo communities as the process for separate administration has been slow.

He said that separate administration is a must for Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-Mizo communities as they have been targeted by the Meeteis since May 3.Kuki-Zo tribals also organised mega rallies in Mizoram, Tripura, Delhi, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, besides Manipur to highlight their main demand for "separate administrations" (equivalent to separate state)-for the tribals in Manipur.

Ten Manipur tribal MLAs, including seven from the ruling BJP, who have been demanding 'separate administration', also participated in the rallies.

The Central and state governments and BJP leaders, however, on a number of occasions, rejected the demand and vowed to maintain a united Manipur.

Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forums (ITLF), senior leader Ginza Vualzong said that thousands of men and women participated in the Kuki-Zo tribals' rallies in Mizoram, Tripura, Delhi, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, besides different districts in Manipur.

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