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Manipur's top tribal bodies oppose proposed UNLF designated camps in tribal areas

Manipur's top tribal bodies oppose proposed UNLF designated camps in tribal areas

After Kuki-Zo civil bodies of Manipur's Tengnoupal district, several other top tribal bodies have came out strongly opposing the proposed location for designated camps of the UNLF(P) surrendered cadres.

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After Kuki-Zo civil bodies of Manipur's Tengnoupal district, several other top tribal bodies have came out strongly opposing the proposed location for designated camps of the UNLF(P) surrendered cadres who had recently inked a 'Peace Agreement' with the Government of India.

Vehemently condemning the Manipur Government's proposal to locate 'Designated Camps' for UNLF surrendered cadres in tribal areas of Manipur, the Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills, or the KISH strongly opposed the recent proposal put forth by the Manipur Government to establish designated camps for valley-based secessionist militants in Kuki-Zo tribal areas.

KISH Information and Publicity Secretary, Thanglenhao Chongloi, said that the unscrupulous state government's proposal is a cover-up of a "sinister stratagem to grab tribal land" and a game plan to openly pursue its campaign to annihilate the Kuki-Zo community. 

"The Kuki-Zo people will fight tooth and nail against any attempts to use our land as a safe haven to shelter an outlawed terrorist group whose only intention is to wipe us off the face of Manipur and beyond", he asserted.

He continued that we want to remind the Central Government that this Peace Agreement was signed between UNLF, the Union, and State Government, and the Kukis are not a party to the Agreement. 

He also said that a few recent events have raised alarming questions in the hearts and minds of the Kuki-Zo people.

Is the so-called 'Peace Agreement' an orchestrated ploy to threaten our existence as citizens of our great nation, India?

Is the Peace Agreement designed to sign away the interests and future of the Kuki-Zo people?

Is the Central Government in cahoots with the State Government to suppress our cry for Separate Administration?

Is it a political gambit to appease the majority Meitei community, thereby giving them a free hand to carry out their pogrom against the Kuki-Zo community?

He further said that while we acknowledge the importance of reintegrating terrorist groups into the mainstream for peace and stability, it is crucial to consider the sensitivities and well-being of the Kuki-Zo community in the state.

While strongly emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and reliable process to validate the citizenship of the surrendered cadres, the Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills also highlighted the importance to ensured that those being camped on the soil of our country are genuine citizens who hold utmost importance for National and Social Harmony.

"Thorough background checks, verification, and proper documentation procedures must be conducted to validate the identities and citizenship of the individuals involved", said Chongloi.

Chongloi also said that furthermore, KISH strongly urged the Central authorities to give explicit directions to the State Government to consider alternative options to establish proposed designated camps for UNLF (Pambei Group), which has recently entered into a Peace Agreement with the State and Central government.

"This proposal has undermined the sentiments of the Kukis and their emotions, which is not acceptable at all", he added.

He maintained that the Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills remains committed to supporting peace, unity, and justice, and we stand firm in our position against any proposal that may threaten our lives and land at any cost.

While urging the authorities to act responsibly and consider the long-term consequences of their decisions, he said that unless corrective steps are taken on time, the entire Kuki-Zo community worldwide shall oppose the malicious agenda of the State Government democratically to its logical conclusion.

Meanwhile, the Hmar Inpui General Headquarters also strongly opposed the Manipur State Government's proposal to establish a designated camp for the UNLF (P) militant group in Kuki-Zo-Hmar inhabited areas of Jiribam District.

In a statement, the Hmar Inpui GHQ stated that we vehemently expressed our opposition, deeming this move as a potential catalyst for further exacerbating the already complex situation between various ethnic groups in the state.

It stated that at a time when the ethnic clash between Kukis and Meiteis has persisted for seven months, casting a shadow over communal harmony, the proposed establishment of a camp for UNLF (P) is viewed by Hmar Inpui as a highly contentious decision as this move is not only ill-timed but also has the potential to intensify hostilities and deepen the existing fault lines between different communities.

While urging the state government to reconsider this proposal, taking into account the delicate socio-political fabric of Manipur, the Hmar Inpui stated that the ongoing strife between Kukis and Meiteis demands a thoughtful and measured approach rather than introducing elements that could further polarize and aggravate tensions.

The Hmar Inpui, in solidarity with the Kuki-Zo-Hmar people, cautioned that such a decision will not be met with silence and the Kuki-Zo-Hmar community will actively resist any attempt to impose a UNLF (P) designated camp in their areas.

It also stated that it is imperative for the state government to prioritize peacebuilding initiatives and engage in inclusive dialogue to address the root causes of the existing ethnic clash.
 

Edited By: Joydeep Hazarika
Published On: Dec 05, 2023