In a press release issued on September 8 by the Liangmai Naga Council in Manipur, the indigenous Liangmai Naga community has expressed deep concern over incidents of extortion and harassment by Kuki militants in the Kangpokpi area. The press release highlights the community's desire for peaceful coexistence and raises questions about the safety of Naga citizens in the region.
The press release outlines instances of frequent extortion and physical harassment inflicted on indigenous Liangmai Naga travelers by imposing forceful illegal taxes along NH-2 and the Imphal-Tamenglong (IT) road. The most recent incident involved an attempted murder of an ex-chairman of a Liangmai Naga village who refused to pay taxes demanded by two cadres of the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA), a militant outfit under Suspension of Operation (SoO), on September 5, 2023, in Chalwa on the IT Road.
The Liangmai Naga community, known for its peace-loving and neutral stance, expressed bewilderment at the recurring acts of harassment and extortion by Kuki militants. These acts include threats, physical assaults, and the collection of illegal taxes from petty traders, including vegetable and fruit sellers and charcoal makers.
The press release recalls several past incidents of anti-social activities perpetrated by Kuki militants:
1. In January 2005, the chairman of Tudon II, Mr. Champonbou, was brutally beaten, and his front teeth were knocked out by Kuki militants in Chalwa.
2. In October 2007, KRA cadres demanded money from the chairmen of Kadi village part III & IV, physically assaulting them and their companions when they refused to pay.
3. In October 2017, Mr. Agombou, the Secretary of Tamei Centre Church, was brutally assaulted and detained by KRA cadres.
4. In 2020, during the pandemic lockdown, an LPG supplier to Tamei was beaten by anti-social individuals at Chalwa village.
5. On May 2, 2023, Kuki militants forcefully stopped a truck carrying a monolith on the IT road, snatching away money.
6. On June 18, 2023, a Naga widow's house in Leimakhong was burnt down by Kukis.
7. On May 27, 2023, Kuki militants fired automatic weapons in Namdilong, Kanglatongbi village, causing fear and panic among residents.
The Liangmai Naga community sternly warns against any further extortions, physical assaults, and harassment of Naga citizens. The community also calls upon the Government of India and the Government of Manipur to address the issue of Kuki militants operating with apparent impunity in the Kangpokpi area, despite being under the so-called Suspension of Operation.
Copyright©2023 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today