TODAY -

"We hold GoI responsible", asserts COCOMI
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 08 2024: The fresh spat of violence that has now engulfed Jiribam district appears to be an orchestrated and provocative action by immigrant Kuki groups aiming to further their demand for a separate admin- istration through terror tactics, asserted the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) as it sought accountability and action from the Government of India to end the crisis.

Jiribam is one of the peaceful areas of Manipur where Thadou, Hmar, Paite, Kabui, Zeliangrong, Meetei Pangal and Meetei communities have coexisted, but a brutal cycle of violence has now hit this district.

"We hold the Government of India responsible for the prolonged deprivation and suffering of the indigenous people of Mani-pur," it said in a statement.

Asserting that the violence is a provocation by immigrant Kuki groups aiming to further their demand for separate administration through terror tactics, COCOMI said, despite the Kuki Inpi Jiribam's attempt to defend their position, evidence have pointed towards the involvement of Kuki narco-terrorist groups in the abduction and murder of the Meetei man which triggered tension in the district.

This heinous act of murder, perpetrated in broad daylight by individuals allegedly led by a person nam- ed Gousang from Phaitol village who arrived in a Bolero vehicle bearing registration Number AS 27 A 2905, is clearly intended to disrupt the long-standing peace among local communities, said COCOMI.

Even as it accused the Indian Government of allowing the conflict to persist unchecked, COCOMI asserted that "the failure of the Assam Rifles to pursue the actual perpetrators, and opting instead to fire live rounds at an angry mob is deeply troubling" .

This raises serious concerns about the Govern- ment's commitment to protecting the lives and prop- erties of its citizens.

Furthermore, the "preferential treat- ment" of immigrant communities over indigenous populations is unacceptable, it said.

The deployment of Indian security personnel, who seemed more focused on Indo-Myanmar border areas rather than maintaining order within Manipur, high- lights a gross misallocation of resources.

This neglect has allowed armed groups to perpetuate violence unchecked, it said.

COCOMI further asserted that the "proxy war" tactics employed by the Indian Government, purportedly to gain leverage in the Indo-China geopolitical arena, come at the expense of Manipur's indigenous people, revealing a disturbing pattern of "State-sponsored violence and political manipulation" .

The recent arrest of a Kuki narco-terrorist from Imphal Airport involved in trans-national conspiracies, as said by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), underscores the complex and troubling nature of the conflict.

The Government's inconsistent narratives, particularly the shift in stance by Home Minister Amit Shah from blaming illegal migrants to downplaying the violence as mere communal disharmony, fails to address the root causes of the conflict, said COCOMI.

Further, it is ironic and disturbing that the Indian Government, through entities like the Assam Rifles and the Maharashtra Regiment, is reportedly "suppor- ting Kuki militants in a proxy war against Manipur insurgents" .

This duality is further highlighted by the recent capture of Thongmingthang Haokip alias Roger (KNF-MC) from Imphal Airport, who was involved in orchestrating violence with Kuki insurgent groups from Myanmar, such as KNF-B, and he even met with PDF for arms and explosives, said COCOMI.

It further emphasised that Amit Shah's recent shift in narrative about the conflict just before the Lok Sabha poll day is "noteworthy" .

Initially, he accused illegal immigrants from Myan- mar of waging a war against India.

Now, he has downplayed the issue as a mere communal disharmony between Meiteis and Kukis.

This change in stance is perplexing and seems to ignore the underlying factors contributing to the year-long violence in the region, COCOMI said.

"The Government's plan to mediate a meeting between the Meiteis and Kukis, while seemingly conciliatory, overlooks the broader issues of State-sponsored violence and political manoeuvring," it said, adding it is imperative to fix responsibility for the losses and damages incurred over the past year while the Government of India takes immediate and sincere actions to resolve the crisis.

The Government must be held accountable for its role in "perpetuating violence" and "must cease using local conflicts for geopolitical gains" .

"We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

The sacrifices made by those who lost their lives will not be forgotten.

It is time for a unified voice to demand justice and accountability from the Government of India.

The indigenous people of Manipur must no longer be pawns in a larger geopolitical strategy," said COCOMI.


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