KNO verbally fires at UNLF
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 12: Referring to the news report "Teach KNA a lesson : UNLF to Kukis" published on June 10 in The Sangai Express, the KNO has maintained that it would be prudent for UNLF to confine their revolutionary activities, physically and ideologically, in the valley alone so as to avoid further misunderstandings between the Kukis and Meiteis while claiming that the "Kuki Hills is Zale'n-gam".

A statement issued by the Under Secretary of the KNO's Information and Publicity Secretary T Stephen Kuki asserted that the unfortunate events of June 9 at Moreh in which 11 people died was a direct consequence of UNLF's intrusive presence in 'Kuki territory' and their activities.

The landmines allegedly planted by UNLF have so far killed 33 Kuki villagers in Chandel district and 25 others in Churachandpur district.

Besides, in January last year, UNLF cadres indulged in mass rape of Hmar women in Tipaimukh, prompting 1000 odd villagers to flee to Mizoram, claimed Stephen.

He also recalled of the rally taken out in New Delhi by students of 'Manipur hills' on March 23 this year demanding action from State and Union Governments against the alleged abduction of 400 Kuki villagers from Chandel district to Myanmar by UNLF on March 13.Till date 600 displaced Kuki villagers remain stranded at Moreh as the land mines planted in their native villages by UNLF have not been sanitised, he alleged.

In a bid to save their face and prevent exposure of the land mine issue to the international community, the UNLF tried to persuade the displaced people stranded at Moreh to return to their villages.

Understandably, the vulnerable people were not convinced and preferred to remain at Moreh.

After this, the UNLF sent their armed cadres with the intention to coerce the people, but the UNLF cadres were confronted by KNA cadres on June 2.Following an encounter, the UNLF cadres retreated to Myanmar.

On the next day, KNA cadres spotted Yumnam Roshan Meitei, allegedly holding the rank of 2nd Lt in the UNLF, at Variety Market who was also involved in the previous day's encounter.

On June 4, KNO issued a press statement clarifying that the outfit was not communal and did not harbour any ill-will towards the Meitei, and that Roshan was not killed for being a Meitei but for his activities that incited communal tension, Stephen Kuki reiterated.

In subsequent development, five UNLF cadres entered Moreh town through gate no 3 and gate no 4 at about 9.45 am of June 9 after which they fired indiscriminately at Kuki labourers.

In the firing, Lunkholal (21), Lunkhomang (22), both belonging to Chavangphai village and Pastor Hemkhojang (40) of S Moljol village died at the spot.

At the same time, auto-driver Tongkholun (20) of Canan Veng was shot dead by the UNLF at ward no 7 while Doukhomang (30) who went to the forest to make charcoal for a living was shot dead at Twidap Pang, about 2 kms South of Moreh town, conveyed Stephen Kuki.

If the UNLF has the audacity to claim that they are not communal after, for example, the landmine deaths of Kuki people they have caused, then they must either be completely deluded or lacking the sense to realise that they cannot befool the people of the State whether Kuki or Meitei any longer, remarked the KNO.

For the record, the KNA has not ever attacked camps of UNLF cadres while the latter have repeatedly attacked KNA camps at Molvailup, Molcham, Samtal et al and even snatched weapons at Molvailup.

The outfit further maintained that the Kuki people do not subscribe to the ideology of what the UNLF call a revolutionary movement adding that the movement presumably refers to 'Kangleipak'.

Kukis have their own movement called Zale'n-gam which refers to protecting the integrity of their ancestral lands.

Nevertheless, the KNO wished that there be peaceful co-existence between the Kukis and Meiteis by promoting mutual respect for each others' territory and rights of the two peoples.