The tribal community of Manipur including the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-Mizos residing in Delhi have taken a protest rally on June 7, marching towards the official residence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Protesters holding placards “Kuki lives matter”, “Article 356 not 355” marched towards the Union Minister’s residence in Delhi demanding restoration of peace and safety to the tribal people residing in the violence torn state of Manipur.
Shattered by the daily killings of people in Manipur due to the ongoing ethnic clashes between Meiteis and Kuki communities, the tribal communities of Manipur have come out in huge numbers urging the Central Government to provide protection to the people belonging to the tribal community.
In a press release mentioning the demands of their protest, the Kuki Women's Forum Delhi & NCR in a letter to the Union Minister stated, "We the Kuki Women's Forum Delhi & NCR, a staunch advocate for peace and security, is appalled by the relentless attacks on our community despite the recent visit and promises made by the Home Minister. The burning of houses and continued aggression by the radical Meitei Militant groups supported by the state forces have reached unprecedented levels, leaving our Kuki-Zo brethren vulnerable and in desperate need of protection especially around Sugnu. Despite the Home Minister's reassurances, the radical Meitei groups relentless acts of violence and arson have not only persisted but escalated in Kuki-Zo Tribal villages in the said area causing fear and anguish even as this press statement is released. Innocent lives were lost, homes reduced to ashes, and families have been displaced even after one month since the violence first started. This is a clear violation of trust and a direct assault on the ideals of peace and stability that our nation upholds. Efforts of our state government have repeatedly shown to be insufficient in ensuring the safety of our people as the police itself is alleged to be biased. We hereby implore our Home Minister to recognise the gravity of the situation and carry out his responsibility by taking immediate and decisive action to stop the aggression and neutralise the threat posed to us and to restore peace and protection for our people".
The protesters also included a list of demands which stated,
Provide total protection to the tribal Kuki villages by putting a line of military outposts along the foothills of the valley to act as a buffer zone between the Kuki and Meitei settlements.
2 To insist the Manipur armed forces (Commando, IRB, MR, etc) to operate within the valley or stand down in their respective camps/battalions.
3. To conduct combing operation in the valley to apprehend the Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun terrorists and to clear the valley of all illegal and looted weapons.
4. To transfer all the Meitei officers and jawans of Indian army and CAPF outside the state of Manipur.
Unless the above actions are taken immediately by your good office, it is only time before all the Kuki villages in Manipur willhave been wiped out by the Meitei terrorists whose ultimate goal is anti-national and anti-India,which is to make Manipur a sovereign country. If the Government of India does not act now to resolve the problem immediately, it is going to cost more lives and more resources to the Government of India as well as to the people of Manipur who are already reeling under immeasurable hardships.
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