The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum on June 5 said that on June 4, 15 villages, 15 churches, and 11 schools in the Sugnu areas in Manipur were set ablaze by miscreants. In a press release the forum said that since Home Minister Amit Shah's recent visit to Manipur, the state has reported a disturbing rise in violence, resulting in the loss of 10 lives in what is being described as an ongoing ethnic war in the region.
On May 30th, eight villages in Chandel and seven villages in Kangpokpi were burned down.
The ITLF has raised concerns over incidents of arms looting from state forces and the burning down of tribal villages by Meitei separatists. The group has identified individuals, namely Arambai Tenggol and Meetei Leepun, who they claim have been radicalized with the tacit support of Meitei-centric state forces.
The ITLF said that during Amit Shah's visit, the Meitei Armed group unleashed a series of violent attacks on the Kuki-Zo community, undermining the Home Minister's call for a peaceful 15-day period.
Disturbingly, licensed guns that were initially submitted to the concerned district Superintendent of Police offices were found to have been used by Arambai Tenggol in the attack on the Kuki Zo community. One such gun, inscribed with "Arambai Tenggol Set 2," was discovered by Holjakai of Hengsi Village.
The ITLF said that despite the escalating violence and loss of lives, the Chief Minister of Manipur and the MP for Inner Manipur have remained silent on the matter, prompting criticism from the ITLF. Concerns have been raised regarding the 15-day period of peace offered by Amit Shah, with apprehensions that it is being misused by the Meitei community to carry out acts of violence and ethnic cleansing against the tribals. The ITLF highlights the determination of the Meitei community to disrupt the peace, despite appeals from the Union Home Minister.
In response to these incessant attacks and the ongoing process of ethnic cleansing, the ITLF strongly condemned the violence and called upon the central government to take immediate action. They urged the government to put an end to the violence against Manipur's tribals and ensure stronger security measures are implemented to safeguard their communities.
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