Manipur violence: Kuki-Zo tribes hold protest rally in Churachandpur, demand political solution

Manipur violence: Kuki-Zo tribes hold protest rally in Churachandpur, demand political solution

Thousands of members from the Kuki-Zo tribal community took to the streets of Churachandpur today in a unified call for a political resolution to the ongoing ethnic conflict plaguing Manipur. Organized by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the rally commenced at Churachandpur Public Ground and culminated at the Wall of Remembrance, a solemn tribute to nearly 200 tribal lives lost during the unrest.

Carrying placards bearing slogans such as "No Political Solution, No Peace" and "Union Territory for the Kuki-Zo People Right Now!", demonstrators voiced their fervent demands. Among the prominent figures addressing the rally were ITLF Chairman Pagin Haokip, MLA Paolienlal Haokip, Zo United Secretary Rev. VL Ngakthang, Zomi Council General Secretary Pauneihlal and Kuki Inpi Manipur Vice President Jangmang Haokip. ITLF General Secretary Muan Tombing delivered a memorandum outlining the community's grievances to be submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The primary objective of the peaceful protest was to urge the central government to accelerate efforts in finding a political resolution to the escalating violence in Manipur. Specifically, the tribal groups are advocating for the establishment of a Union Territory with legislative powers under Article 239A of the Constitution.

According to ITLF, the urgency for intervention comes from a year-long escalation of violence resulting in significant casualties and destruction within tribal communities. Recent incidents in Jiribam district, where tribal individuals were killed and properties vandalized allegedly by Meitei groups, have exacerbated tensions. ITLF highlighted ongoing humanitarian concerns such as restricted access to essential supplies, halted developmental activities, and discriminatory practices in job recruitment favoring Meitei-majority areas.

The rally in Churachandpur was mirrored by similar demonstrations in Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal and Pherzawl districts.

ITLF leaders concluded the rally by formally submitting their memorandum to the Union Home Minister via the Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur stating the critical need for swift and decisive measures to restore peace and security in Manipur's tribal regions.