TODAY -

'Stop issuing ST certificates to non-indigenes'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 15 2024: The Meetei (Meitei) Tribe Union (MTU), Youth Wing and the Manipur International Youth Centre (MIYC) have urged the State Government to stop issuing ST certificates to non-indigenous Kuki-Chin people who came from outside the State and settled in Manipur.

A joint statement issued by MTU Youth Wing and MIYC further asked all State Government departments to examine all the processes of recruitment in Government jobs, promotion, admission in educational institutions and awarding of scholarships.

It called upon all the indigenous people of Manipur (both hill people and valley people) to collectively tackle the issue of enlistment of non-indigenous people in the ST list and fight together the population war being waged by the non-indigenous people against indigenous people.

It needs no reminder that lakhs of non-indigenous people have settled in both the hills and valley of Manipur, it said.

After the State Government conveyed its Cabinet decisions of 2018 and 2023 to remove the nomenclatures 'Any Kuki tribe' and 'Any Mizo tribe' from the ST list of Manipur, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs wrote to the State Government on December 26, 2023 demanding a detailed report on those people and communities who are not eligible to remain in the ST list of Manipur.

Moreover, the Supreme Court passed a judgement which categorically stated that non-indigenous people/communities should not be listed in the ST category, it said.

The MTU Youth Wing and the MIYC asserted that the Kuki-Chin people who immigrated from outside the State in the recent past do not fulfil the criteria of being categorised as Scheduled Tribe.

In the late 1980s, there was a body called 'Kuki Tribe Recognition Committee' and it submitted a number of memoranda to the Prime Minister of India and other Central leaders demanding enlistment of Kukis in the ST list.

They claimed that their total population at that time was just around 85,000 .

Later, in 2001-02 when there was President's Rule in the State, some top Kuki bureaucrats sent a recommendation to the Government for enlistment of several Kuki groups in the ST category under the banners 'Any Kuki tribe' and 'Any Mizo tribe', it said.

Saying that over two lakh Kuki refugees immigrated to Manipur in the recent past, the two bodies pointed out that the Foreigners Act 1946 is unable to check the influx of Kuki refugees.

As many as 1600 new Kuki villages sprang up in Chandel, Tengnoupal, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi.

Kuki tribes constituted 16 per cent of the total population of Manipur in 2011 but now they form 30 per cent of the total population.

Although there was not a single Kuki village at Moreh in 1972-73, they are now driving out indigenous communities like Koms, Rongmeis, Tangkhuls and Meiteis from the border town as if they are the real owners of the land.

This is a serious challenge to all the indigenous communities, it pointed out.

The MTU Youth Wing and the MIYC also clarified that enlistment of Meetei in the ST category would not dent the quotas/reservations and other benefits being enjoyed by other indigenous communities of Manipur.

"Let us thrash out all misunderstandings and live together in peace and harmony", it said.

It went on to assert that late Naga leaders, Rungsung Suisha and Rishang Keishing were in favour of enlisting Meitei in the ST category and bringing all the communities under a uniform status.


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