TODAY -

ITLF, CoTU impose 24 hours shutdown
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 02 2024: In protest against the alleged atrocities on Kuki-Zo people in Moreh and demanding withdrawal of state force from the border town, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF) and Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) have imposed 24 hours shutdown in all Kuki-Zo districts in Manipur.

While informing people that the shutdown will be effective from Wednesday midnight (January 3), a joint statement of CoTU and ITFL said the incursion of state forces into Moreh and the surrounding tribal areas during an ethnic conflict involving two communities is clearly an attempt by the chief minister to drive out tribals from their homes using state machinery which will never be tolerated by the Kuki-Zo people.

It also contended that the brutality of police commandos and their communal intent is well documented and Kuki-Zo volunteers are faced with no option but to defend themselves.

According to the joint statement, the people of Moreh have pleaded with the central government since May to replace state forces with neutral central forces with Union home minister Amit Shah assuring on May 31 that all state forces would be removed within three days.

Later, the Union home minister in his meeting with ITLF leaders said he would ensure central forces work in conjunction with state forces.

However, this alleged arrangement has not deterred police commandos from committing atrocities against Kuki-Zo tribals, and their presence has led to an escalation of violence instead of bringing peace, it said and urged the central government to remove all state forces, especially commandos, from Moreh and the surrounding tribal-majority settlements.

There can be no peace as long as state forces are deployed in the area and if state forces are allowed to continue operating and harassing the Kuki-Zo tribals, the government will be held responsible for any future security issues, the ITLF and CoTU warned.


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