TODAY -

LEECHING letter to KWUJT denounces blame-shifting tactics
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, June 20 2024: With reference to escalation of tension, in Jiribam, LEECHING, a body of Meetei community, penned an open letter to Kuki Women Union, Jiribam & Tamenglong (KWUJT), addressing what they claim to be inaccuracies and blame-shifting tactics.

The open letter highlights contentious points raised by KWUJT, particularly concerning the endorsement of an indefinite blockade called by Kuki-Zo Village Volunteers (KZVV) along NH 37 .

Reacting against the KWUJT statement which claimed that halting movement of vehicles in response to the blockade imposed by Arambai Tenggol and Meira Paibis of Jiribam, it said "This is a wrong narrative as Meeteis or any such organisation of Meeteis have never imposed any blockade and frisked any vehicle plying along NH 37" .

According to LEECHING, prior to June 6, 2024, the region experienced relative normalcy and peace.

However, the situation took a drastic turn following the beheading of Soibam Sarat Singh, which LEECHING attributes to the Kuki community.

This act, described as barbaric, has sown the seed of distrust and fear among the two ethnic groups, leading to a series of violent incidents in Jiribam.

The letter also pointed out that Kuki community has expressed feeling unsafe in travelling along NH 37 for shopping and marketing at Jiribam Market and Silchar in the aftermath of what they termed as "unlawful and inhuman acts" committed by their own community.

It highlighted that for over a year, Meetei individuals have been unable to travel along NH 37, while the Kuki community has been continuing to enjoy unrestricted movement, alleging that Kuki militant groups have engaged in activities such as frisking passenger vehicles, threatening Meetei people and drivers, and even resorting to opening fire along the national highway.

The letter questioned whether KWUJT or the Kuki community at large have ever spoken out against these alleged anti-social activities or shown concern over the difficulties faced by Meetei individuals who are unable to travel to Imphal via NH 37 .

It also cited instances where Kuki militants warned Meetei water tanker drivers from venturing into certain areas.

The letter further emphasised that Kuki militants have been threatening innocent Meetei residents in the Bekra area ever since the violence erupted on May 3 last year in Churachandpur, while the Meetei people have been trying to maintain peace in Jiribam.

The letter also accused Kuki militants of using bombs and automatic weapons to intimidate Meetei individuals in Bekra, while also criticising absence of condemnation or action against these acts from the side of Kuki community or KWUJT.

"You have never pointed a finger at your militants' inhuman acts.

Yet, you expect us to act compassionately.

You watch in silence while your militants threaten Meetei people travelling on NH 37" .

It further acknowledged the peaceful coexistence in Jiribam, allowing the Kuki community to live without threat, while expressing anger over the killing of an innocent Meetei individual in Gularthol area.

It warned that every action has its limits and that a lack of reciprocal humanity could lead to retaliation.

The open letter also warned against escalating tensions through blame-shifting and urged both communities to seek peaceful resolutions rather than perpetuating unrest and violence.


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