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Kuki-Zos protest across Manipur over detained members

Organised under the Kuki Inpi Manipur, the protest aimed to spotlight alleged injustices and atrocities purportedly committed by central security forces against the Kuki-Zo people.

News Arena Network - Imphal - UPDATED: July 10, 2024, 06:21 AM - 3 mins read

Image for representative use only.

Kuki-Zos protest across Manipur over detained members

Image for representative use only.


Members of the Kuki-Zo community staged a widespread sit-in protest across their dominant areas in Manipur's hills, enforced with a 12-hour shutdown from 6 am to 6 pm on July 10.

 

Organised under the Kuki Inpi Manipur, the protest aimed to spotlight alleged injustices and atrocities purportedly committed by central security forces against the Kuki-Zo people.

 

In Kangpokpi, the Kuki Inpi Sadar Hills (KISH) endorsed the resolutions from an emergency meeting and orchestrated a significant protest at Vengpi in Keithelmanbi Military Colony.

 

The shutdown saw vehicular movements halted, schools shuttered, and business activities ceased, except for essential services.

 

Protestors voiced slogans such as "Arrest Injustice Not the Kukis," "I am Indian Not Terrorist," and "Grant us Union Territory," pointing out their grievances against perceived discriminatory actions by security forces.

 

President Thangminlen Kipgen of KISH emphasised the protest's aim to convey dissatisfaction to the central government over what they perceive as the selective targeting of Kuki-Zo volunteers by central security agencies. He warned of escalating protests if such actions persist.

 

These protests unfolded shortly after the arrest of three Kuki-Zo village volunteers by central forces at L Hengjol village.

 

Allegedly, the operation involved an attack on the residence of the village chief, resulting in property damage and injuries to several Kuki-Zo women.

 

Responding to these events, Manipur Police countered allegations by stating that the arrested individuals were associated with an underground outfit.

 

Similar protests echoed across other Kuki-Zo dominated regions including Leimakhong, Saikul, Motbung, Hengbung, Moreh, Churachandpur, New Keithelmanbi, and neighboring areas.

 

Condemning the incident at Tonghen Haokip's residence, the Kuki Chiefs' Association described the damage as irreparable and denounced the assault as an attempt to target the chief and his family.

 

Expressing dismay over alleged biases within central security operations, the association called for impartiality in law enforcement actions and warned against continuing hostilities.

 

Various Kuki organizations, including the Kuki Women Organisation for Human Rights and HTC Moreh, also condemned the July 9 arrests and called for justice.

 

In a significant move, the Kuki Inpi Manipur submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, highlighting escalating ethnic tensions and persecution.

 

The memorandum demanded the release of five detained Kuki-Zo individuals, collaboration with law enforcement agencies, and an end to discriminatory practices.

 

Additionally, it advocated for the establishment of a separate administrative setup to safeguard Kuki-Zo rights and ensure peace.

 

The Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills issued a warning of intensifying protests, including potential highway blockades, if demands related to the recent arrests and incidents at L Hengjol village were not promptly addressed.

 

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