TODAY -

"Kukis formed just 7 pc of total population in 1881"
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 21 2023: The population count of the people of different commu-nities who now claim to be Kukis in 1881 was around 17,000, just about 7 percent of the total population of Manipur, according to British Census of that time, said COCOMI's assistant coordi-nator Longjam Ratan.

Ratan made this statement at a public convention on the present unrest organised by the Coordinating Committee of Clubs & Organisation (COCOCO) at Chanam Sandrok in Imphal East yesterday.

Speaking at the convention on the cause of the present unrest, Longjam Ratan, assistant coordinator of the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity said there have been massive demographic changes in Manipur over the past few decades.

He said the smaller communities who now claim to be Kukis were just 7 percent of the total population of Manipur as per the Census conducted by the British in 1881.Their numbers have multiplied manifold to reach 20 percent today.

While the population of the people claiming to be Kukis have risen astronomically over the few decades, the population of the Meiteis, the majority community in Manipur, have been reduced to below 50 percent from 60 percent, he said.

Ratan attributed uncontrolled illegal immigration of Chin-Kuki people from Myanmar into Manipur as the reason for the "abnormal" increase in the population of the Kukis.

The presence of illegal immigrants can be understood by simply looking at some simple data--Census and electoral rolls etc, he said.

While the population and the number of villages of the indigenous Meiteis, the Nagas and other communities rose very little over the decades, the population and the number of villages of the Kuki community have "abnormally" increased astronomically, Ratan said.

Recently, over 700 Myanmar Nationals were found crossing into Manipur on a single day, he said.

This happened on July 22 and the Assam Rifles had reported that 718 Myanmar Nationals have been detected and allowed to enter Manipur (Chandel district), he said, adding this was not the only case.

Ratan said before the present unrest erupted in May, a Cabinet Sub-Committee conducted some sort of a population drive in hill districts that and in a matter of days, detected around 3,000 Myanmar Nationals.

Moreover, after the military coup in Myanmar in February 2021, thousands fled the country to several States of India and other neighbouring countries.

There have been reports that the State of Mizoram neighbouring Manipur is giving refuge to more than 45,000 Myanmar Nationals after the coup, he said.

Ratan recalled that when the military coup unfolded in Myanmar, COCOMI had then urged the State Government to strictly monitor possible influx of immigrants into Moreh and to shelter them as refugees, if detected.

The State Government, at the time, following Centre's advisory had stated that Manipur would not welcome any refugee as India had not ratified the International Refugee Convention and its protocol.

Ratan continued that illegal immigration or infiltration of Myanmar Nationals into Manipur is a reality and it needs to be checked to stop unnatural demographic imbalance.

The illegal influx of people into Manipur poses multiple threats, he said.

Besides mushrooming of new villages in the hinterland of the hill districts, the illegal immigrants are also involved in large scale deforestation of forests for poppy cultivation, he added.

On the present unrest, Ratan said it is very unfortunate that the more than 60,000 strong Central Security Forces and the State security force are still unable to contain the violence and end the crisis.

He said the people as well as COCOMI condemn creation of "buffer zone" in the Meitei settlement area of Phougakchao.

Instead of making the Meitei settlement area a buffer zone, the security forces should create the zone in uninhabited areas between Churachandpur and Torbung area, he said.

On the other hand, the State Assembly should take strict action against the 10 Kuki MLAs who have sought separate administration with the intention to disintegrate Manipur, he said.

Further, the State Government should convene an emergency sitting of the Assembly at the earliest, Ratan said.

COCOCO president Sh Meghachandra, vice president M Dhananjoy, advisors Y Kumar, Salam Chingtam Luwang, I Ibomcha, M Jadumani and social activist Dr Dhanabir Laishram attended the meeting.


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