TODAY -

Manipur : Complex challenges and calls for resolution

Dipak Kurmi *



Approximately nine months following the eruption of conflict in Manipur, a delegation comprising three members arrived in Imphal recently to engage in discussions with the conflicting factions. Leading the team was AK Mishra, serving as the intermediary between the Government and Kuki insurgents. Mishra has been making regular visits to the Imphal valley over the past few months.

The State continues to grapple with persistent violence. From January 16 to 19, militants claimed the lives of seven individuals, including two Manipur Police commandos and a member of the India Reserve Battalion (IRB). These assailants reportedly utilized advanced weaponry such as rocket-propelled guns during an assault on security forces at Moreh, situated on the India-Myanmar border in Tengnoupal district.

This area, predominantly inhabited by Kukis, has recently become a hotspot of clashes between Kuki insurgents and various security forces, including Manipur Police, Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, and Central Reserve Police Force. The focal point of the unrest transitioned to Moreh following the apprehension of two Kuld tribe members on charges of murdering Sub Divisional Police Officer Chingtham Anand Kumar in October of the previous year.

The Kuki community staunchly asserts the innocence of the accused duo. Denouncing the allegations as a blatant falsehood, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum, a coalition representing 13 Kuki-Zo tribes, stands firm in its rejection of the accusations. Since May of the preceding year, the region has witnessed a devastating toll, with over 210 lives lost and more than 65,000 individuals forced to flee their homes.

The prospect of returning to normalcy seems elusive. The Kukis, gripped by fear of reprisals, hesitate to enter the valley, fearing for their lives. Simultaneously, the Meiteis refrain from venturing into the hill districts, exacerbating the growing distrust between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities with each passing day.

The apprehension is so profound among the Kukis that they refrained from entering Imphal for weeks to retrieve the bodies of their kin. Only through the intervention of the Supreme Court were the bodies airlifted to Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, where mass burials were subsequently organized.

On January 24, the Arambai Tenggol convened a gathering of Meitei MLAs and MPs at the iconic Kangla Fort in the heart of Imphal. Nearly all representatives assembled at the fort, pledging to advocate for their demands with the Central Government.

The articulated demands encompass several key points:
firstly, the substitution of Assam Rifles with an alternative Central paramilitary force, citing perceived partiality in their actions;
secondly, the withdrawal of the Suspension of Operations (S00) agreement with Kuki rebel outfits;
thirdly, the exclusion of Kuki-Zo tribes from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list;
fourthly, the comprehensive fencing of the India-Myanmar border, aiming to nullify the existing Free Movement Regime (FMR);
fifthly, the execution of the National Register of Citizens; and
lastly, the deportation of Myanmarese refugees to either Myanmar or Mizoram, which has been providing them refuge thus far.

Boasting a membership exceeding 50,000, the Arambai Tenggol, translating to dart-wielding cavalry, with reports indicating their presence on motorbikes clad in black uniforms within the valley, showcasing weapons allegedly plundered from police camps in Imphal East. From the approximately 3,500 weapons looted from the Manipur Police Training Centre, Manipur Rifles camp, and the MB, along with another 1,000 from Churachandpur and Bishnupur police stations, only around 1,500 have been recovered, leaving the rest in the hands of unknown entities.

Out of the 6.5 lakh rounds of ammunition looted in the initial week of May last year, approximately 20,000 have been reclaimed, highlighting the ongoing challenge of weapons and ammunition remaining outside authorized control.

Established in 2015, Meitei Leepun, mirroring the structure of Mizoram's Young M i7,0 Association, stands as another entity actively operating in the State. Led by Pramot Singh, the organization, boasting a membership of around 14,000, asserts its commitment to safeguarding Meitei

interests. Following a recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, CM N Biren Singh expressed confidence that the Central Government would make crucial decisions in the State's best interests. Just three days later, the Home Minister made a significant announcement declaring the comprehensive fencing of the entire 1,643-km India-Myanmar border.

This decision effectively brings an end to the Free Movement Regime (FMR), which had been implemented in 2018. Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland has emphasized the need for thorough discussions before the implementation of the border fencing issue. Similarly, Mizoram CM Lalduhoma has voiced his opposition to the border fencing, highlighting the familial connections that span across the border, allowing people to freely visit each other.

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has also contested the move on similar grounds. The approach the Centre will take to address this contentious issue remains uncertain. Although the Free Movement Regime (FMR) could

potentially serve as a resolution to the persistent violence plaguing the State, there are other pressing matters demanding urgent consideration. The Meiteis' insistence on excluding Kulds from the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list is a contentious issue with questionable intentions. This demand becomes particularly provocative in light of the Meiteis' simultaneous pursuit of ST status, a pursuit that triggered violence last year following a directive from the Manipur High Court.

Given the tumultuous conditions prevailing in the State, it is deemed necessary to appoint a retired IPS officer or Army officer, preferably of the rank of Lt General, possessing prior experience in serving in the North-East, as the Governor.

Selecting a Governor from a different State would present the image of an unbiased mediator, capable of providing rational counsel to the conflicting parties, the security forces, and the State Government. Such an appointee could offer constructive suggestions for amicable solutions to emerging issues as they unfold.


* Dipak Kurmi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at dipaknewslive(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 18 February 2024.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #30: Download
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Before You Vote : My Rumbling Thoughts
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Kakching
  • Meiraba wins All India Sr tournament
  • Finding light in dark through my daughter
  • Navigating life's unreasonable expectations
  • Test of people's character
  • BJP's election manifesto
  • Athoubasingi Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Black rice & Glycemic Index
  • What Nadda should speak at Dimapur rally
  • Open Letter to CM Office Manipur
  • Meghalaya unveils Strawberry festival
  • Benefits of maths newspapers for students
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #1 : Gallery
  • Are you a good person ?
  • Physics Academy of NE : Executive Body
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Moirang
  • Cherrapunji Eastern Craft Gin launched
  • Cong on cautious path
  • Botox for Hair
  • Posers voters should raise now
  • The lull before the storm
  • 80th Anniv- Battle of Kanglatongbi @UK
  • Vir Chakra Ngangom Joydutta's bust unveiled
  • Hun - Thadou Cultural Festival : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Singjamei
  • Election Eclipses: Ballad of Battle & Loss
  • Our voices are equal at the ballot box
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Urgent Call for Solidarity in Manipur
  • Meitei Nongsha #2 :: An Artwork
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Waikhong
  • About NPF-BJP-NPP alliance & why ?
  • World Veterinary Day, 2024
  • The heavy stake behind the LS polls
  • The politics of lying & deception
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Hun-Thadou Cultural Fest @ Delhi: Report
  • Appeal to Parties & Candidates
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wangoo
  • Establishment of community seed bank
  • Awareness Programme on new Criminal Laws
  • Make a right choice at the Lok Sabha election
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #1
  • RIST talk-58 : Support systems of elderly
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Vote, do not boycott !
  • Lok Sabha election: A new dawn in politics ?
  • IIT-Guwahati Half Marathon report
  • Taking ST demand to the election ring
  • Lesson to be learnt from across border
  • Mirabai: Poised for Paris Olympics
  • Legal position for protection of environment
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Keisamthong
  • Heterocyclic compound & biochemical science
  • Inner, torn between two lovers
  • Certification Music Therapy Workshop
  • NOTA as a choice
  • Caesar's wife must be above suspicion
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #29: Download
  • World Health Day 2024
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangantabi
  • The Power of Poppy - 26 :: Poem
  • Fulbright Fellowship Outreach at Arunachal
  • Id-ul Fitr da namaz nattana..
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #13 :: Book
  • Lok Sabha election is coming, be prepared
  • 6th Hun-Thadou Cultural Festival
  • Let There Be Free & Fair Election
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Lamlong
  • Science magazines are important for student
  • Interesting choice of candidates
  • The power of We, the voters
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur #1
  • The Case for Amendment of Article 371-C
  • Meitei Nongsha #1 :: Artwork
  • Link between forest & conflict in Manipur
  • Final Call for Application MFA - Phase-2
  • ST for Meiteis call before elections
  • Passing the buck
  • Beating of the Retreat #1 : Gallery
  • Life of our Lives in Ethnic Strife Era! :: Poem
  • IIT-Guwahati annual Half Marathon
  • Follow up: European Parliament on Manipur
  • Yoga & Kegel exercise: Pelvic floor workout
  • Opting for the NOTA button
  • Yearning of the displaced people
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • 5th NE Women's Peace Congregation
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2024
  • Election fever grips Manipur despite unrest
  • Looking for a decent election hustings
  • Clock ticking towards voting day
  • An exemplary directive
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Memo to Election Commission of India
  • Easter & Holi echo in Nilgiris
  • Holiday Camp for children at JNMDA, Imphal
  • Zero waste is our moral responsibility
  • Elections & loyalty vis-a-vis Manipur crisis
  • Show of strength without unity
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #2 : Gallery
  • Panthoi Chanu : 1st to play in Australia
  • Intensive labs in film preservation
  • Building bridges with books
  • Need of the hour: Political maturity
  • Accepting defeat before the election
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #28: Download
  • April Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Natural packaging from bamboo : Gallery
  • The Power of Poppy - 25 :: Poem
  • Everyone has their own Bharat Ratna
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #12 :: Book
  • Demand- Manipuri as classical language
  • The Drummer from Odisha
  • Beauty benefits of lemon
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur's original Ponies : Gallery
  • Yaoshang & Dance of Democracy loom
  • Symposium on Jagadguru Shankaracharya
  • Choosing ITI as a campus after X
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang @Nabadwip Dham : Gallery
  • How oral health affects your pregnancy
  • Two faces of Holi
  • Prawaas 4.0, Multimodal Transport Show
  • A decade of development of higher education
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #1 : Gallery
  • Our Eternal Kangleipak :: Poem
  • Micro-livestock for livelihoods: For NE States
  • The fun of Holi used to be monotonous
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • About the "Meitei" community from Manipur
  • Unveiling the medicinal benefits of honey
  • The incalculable value of wildlife
  • Promises of true love
  • Trends, Alliances, & Challenges in Elections
  • Meitei Goddess Ngaleima : An Artwork
  • Water is the most precious gift of God
  • Bharat needs a strong 'India'
  • Transformation of railway stations
  • Not quite the final countdown
  • Missing of 'The Saffron' from electoral colour
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #27: Download
  • 3rd North East Games: Manipur champion
  • The Power of Poppy - 24 :: Poem
  • EBTC & JCRE signed MoU
  • Early Detection Program at Toubul
  • How Holi affects our mood & mental health
  • Lamta Thangja @ Imphal : Gallery
  • Manipur cinema legacy shines at ARCUREA
  • The pulse of politics amidst conflict
  • Forest is most important vital organ of Earth
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Politics of naming candidates
  • Disappearing of spring from season cycle
  • Meira Paibis of Manipur
  • Demand for ST status by Meiteis
  • Project Personal Opening @Assam University
  • World Poetry Day at Manipur University
  • Green skills for sustainable world
  • Supportive interventions during exam time
  • Interesting run up to LS polls
  • Onus definitely on PM to restore peace
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #11 :: Book
  • Water, water everywhere ...
  • 21st March - A special day for Forest
  • RI imprisonment to Rapists at Silchar
  • Arrests threaten fragile ceasefire
  • The Valor Within :: Poem
  • Monitoring the rehab centres
  • True colour of politicians
  • North East Film Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Linthoingambi- 'Jury Honourable Mention'
  • Meitei Goddess Phouoibi : An Artwork #3
  • Formation of Wesean Student Federation
  • 20th March- International Day of Happiness
  • A call to first time voter youths
  • Playing the card close to its chest
  • Targeting FOCS and ITLF
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • Alarming Pictures of Nongpok Sekmai River
  • Health camp at Khangabok Relief Camp
  • Absence of refugee laws fuels ethnic tension
  • Electoral bonds and Mr Bond
  • ATSUM spilling the beans now
  • Main stumbling block to peaceful election
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #26: Download
  • Engudam Kavita: Gold @Bodybuilding Ch'ship
  • Sangai :: An Artwork
  • Deepika M urges to observe 2 Mins Silence
  • Attention Manifesto letters- boxes of promises
  • Gearing up for Lok Sabha polls
  • Debate over long poll process
  • Saroi Khangba @ Kangla : Gallery
  • Stress in adolescents due to ethnic clash
  • Will Manipur ever be the same again
  • Innovation : A review
  • Love and Harmony :: Poem
  • Special scholarship scheme for girls
  • Imphal Book Fair 2023 #3 : Gallery
  • Relief material at Serou & Wangoo
  • The power of the human-animal bond
  • Agribusiness & food processing in North East
  • India Defense Policy: Challenge & Imperative
  • Sit across the table and talk
  • Controversial arrest & chaotic confusion
  • Protest for scrapping SoO #2 :Gallery
  • Kangpokpi, a safe haven for immigrants
  • Maharaj Narasingh Statue @Kangla :Gallery
  • North East Film Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri : Gallery
  • N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #1: Gallery
  • Transgender Malem protest [Mar 6] : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Monica Konjengbam- Mega Miss North East
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #3 : Gallery
  • Martin Irengbam - Mister North East 2024
  • Naorem Roshibina- Wushu Medallist : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs #4 : Gallery
  • Abnormal population growth of Kuki from 1881
  • Resilience in adversity | Kumbi : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #2: Gallery
  • Oinam Chaoba Devi: Sepak Takraw : Gallery
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD