The tribal body in Manipur, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), has raised questions towards Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief, Mohan Bhagwat, regarding the cause of conflicts between Meiteis, Kuki and Zo tribes.
They pointed out that these clashes have escalated only after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power.
This comes after the RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday asked if extremists across the border were involved in Manipur violence. "For many years, Meitei and Kuki communities have been living together. How did the violence erupt all of a sudden? The conflict benefits external forces. Are external factors involved," Bhagwat said while addressing the RSS Dussehra rally in Nagpur.
The ITLF in its press release listed out six questions to the RSS chief highlighting the ethnic violence in Manipur.
Also Read: Manipur: Kuki body slams state police for allegedly branding three arrested Myanmar nationals as militants
The tribal body questioned why were there no clashes between the majority Meiteis and Kuki-Zo tribals in all the years before the BJP and CM Biren Singh came to power. (Bhagwat himself said, “Meiteis and Kukis were living
together for a long time.”)
Further, why did Meitei’s belligerence become pronounced and quickly intensify during Biren Singh’s tenure?
"Why was AFSPA recently removed only in Meitei-dominated districts and not in tribal areas? This is bewildering since government-designated terror groups operate in the Imphal valley while armed groups in the hills are under suspension of operation with the state and centre," reads the press release.
Also, why was the government notification of 1966 regarding “reserved” and “protected” forests under the Indian Forest Act, 1927 suddenly implemented in 2023, without following procedures laid down by the Act, which includes consulting the stakeholders.
The ITLF also claimed that what Manipur witnessed in the past few years was a highly coordinated assault on the rights and protections that tribals enjoyed under the constitution, all in the name of preserving and extending the Meiteis’ domination of minorities.
Copyright©2024 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today