In a surprising turn of events, the 10 Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs have vehemently denied the claims made by Manipur's Chief Minister N Biren Singh regarding their alleged contact amidst the ongoing communal unrest.
The statement comes as a direct contradiction to a news report published in the Hindustan Times on August 25, 2023, wherein CM Biren Singh claimed that he was in touch with these MLAs to discuss the situation.
The disputed news report titled "No division of Manipur, in touch with Kuki MLAs: CM N Biren Singh" had earlier quoted Chief Minister Biren Singh asserting that he had maintained communication with the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs even during the outbreak of communal violence that gripped the state in May 2023.
''It is hereby clarified by all the 10 Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs that we have not been in touch with CM N Biren Singh since the outbreak of the communal violence in May 2023,'' the MLAs said in an official statement.
They further said that it is needless to mention the killings and complete mayhem since 3 May 2023, a stark reminder may be made of Shri Vungzagin Valte, MLA and Adviser to the CM N Biren Singh who was waylaid, lynched, and left to die by Meitei extremist on the 4th May 2023 in Imphal while returning from a meeting at the official bungalow of the Chief Minister.
''So far no inquiry or arrest has been made, nor any progress of investigation is reported till today. In fact, we do not want to repeat and face the same fate that our colleague had undergone; Of late, Imphal Valley has become a "Valley of Death" for the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar people,'' they said.
They also claimed that the streets and roads of Imphal and its surrounding valley are dangerous for the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar people; even the identity of Paramilitary personnel on duty are not spared, they were checked and verified by the so-called Meir Paibis.
''Our official quarters and private residences are either looted, attacked, or burned by mobs. At this politically critical juncture, we do not have any intention to communicate with the CM N. Biren Singh,'' the statement read further.
As per these MLAs, the Manipur Chief Minister's claim of communicating with the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs may be a ploy to sow seeds of mistrust and disunity between the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar MLAs and their people.
''It is true that on 16th August 2023, we submitted a memorandum to the Prime Minter of India Narendra Modi, demanding a Separate Chief Secretary and Police Chief for the affected Hill Districts as temporary measures pending the ongoing political dialogue of So groups/ KNO-UPF with the Government of India. Therefore, once again we strongly reiterate our legitimate demand for the creation of Separate Administration within the purview of the Indian Constitution in order to restore permanent peace and settlement,'' the statement concluded.
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