The Manipur government on Thursday strongly condemned the Indigenous Tribal Leader’s Forum (ITLF)’s recent announcement to declare a ‘self-government’ in Kuki-Zo dominated area, stating that the ITLF’s move is aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law and order situation in Manipur.
Law Minister Th Basanta Kumar told the media at the auditorium of DIPR, Nityaipat Chuthek on Thursday evening that the recent statement by ITLF has no legal or constitutional basis. This irresponsible statement appears to be motivated and aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law-and-order situation of the state.
A meeting attended by ruling legislators unanimously resolved to condemn the statement of ITLF at the strongest terms, he said. Appropriate legal action is being initiated against the ITLF and persons concerned, he added.
On Wednesday, ITLF threatened to set up a ‘self-government’ in the Kuki Zo inhabited area if the demand of ‘separate administration’ is not fulfilled by next two weeks.
In a video, ITLF general secretary Muan Tombing said, “More than six months have passed since the ethnic strife started in Manipur but nothing has been done regarding our demand for a separate administration. If our demand is not heard within a couple of weeks, we will set up our self-government irrespective of whether the Centre recognises it or not.”
Meanwhile, Basanta Kumar who is also the state education minister said regarding the complaint of a Class XI textbook which allegedly distorts the history of Manipur, the state government has directed to stop selling the book titled as ‘History of Manipur’.
He said a Committee was earlier formed and came effective from August, 2023 to monitor similar types of books that could mislead the history of Manipur. The committee will examine the book to take necessary steps, he added.
Social activist Maheshwar Thounaojam raised the issue of fabricated history when he met the state Education Minister Th Basantakumar today who reportedly assured that an alleged fabricated chapter concerning the Kuki community will be removed from a history book prescribed by the Council of Higher Secondary School, Manipur for Class XI..
At a press conference at his residence in Keishampat, Maheshwar emphasised that a section in the book titled ‘History of Manipur’ distorts the history of the said community, impacting the students who require accurate information for a proper understanding of historical facts.
“The education minister assured he will review the book, and appropriate action to ban it will be taken in two-three days,” he said. Maheshwar further elaborated that a subheading titled ‘The Kuki’ inaccurately claims that some Kuki tribal people migrated to Manipur during the pre-historic period.
He highlighted that Manipur’s documented history begins from 33 AD and referenced James Johnstone’s work, ‘Manipur and Naga Hills (1896),’ which places the term ‘Kuki’ between 1830 and 1840. He underscored that the Anglo-Kuki War never occurred in Manipur’s history, citing an RTI reply from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
Expressing concerns, Maheshwar criticised the reported inclusion of the 'Anglo-Kuki War' in Delhi University’s curriculum and announced plans to submit a paper to the university, urging the removal of what he deems as ‘fabricated’ history.