The sit-in protest organized by the Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills in Manipur's Kangpokpi district took an intense turn on May 25 as Kuki protestors demanded the immediate resignation of Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh. The protest, which began on May 22, seeks the intervention of the Centre Government in addressing the concerns of the Kukis and finding a political dialogue-based solution between the United People's Front (UPF), the Kuki National Organization (KNO), and the governments involved.
The demand to remove N. Biren Singh as the Chief Minister stems from the belief that he played a significant role in the recent outbreak of communal violence, which has been described as both unfortunate and an unpardonable crime by L. Singsit, Secretary of the Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills. The protestors expressed surprise over the lack of action taken by the Centre Government against the Chief Minister, despite his alleged involvement.
A scholar from Manipur University, who was internally displaced due to the recent violence, recounted the harrowing experience of the attack on the university and the subsequent loss of important documents. She expressed concern about the safety of the scholars and students when neither the university authorities nor the state government were able to protect them. Calling for accountability, she joined the chorus of voices demanding N. Biren Singh's resignation for failing to safeguard their interests.
K. Sitlhou, Spokesperson for the Committee on Tribals Unity, Sadar Hills, questioned why the Centre Government has not paid attention to the pleas of the people who fought for India's freedom from the British. Referring to the recent outbreak of violence triggered by a peaceful rally against the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by the Meitei community, he urged the Centre Government to intervene and assess the situation in Manipur. He emphasized that a sustainable peace could only be achieved by addressing the problems faced by the Kukis.
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