Thousands of people marched in nine towns, cities and 17 different villages across the country on Wednesday, taking part in the nationwide rally in demand for a Separate Administration for the Kuki-Zo communities in Manipur.
The rally was organised under the aegis of Zo United, parent body for all Kuki-Zo tribes in Manipur. The participants, expressing their discontent with the Manipur state government, held placards which read, ‘Separate administration is the only solution’, ‘Meetei government, down, down’, ‘Tribal area, tribal government’ and ‘No solution, no rest’ etc. The rallies highlighted the alleged grim reality faced by the community.
A release issued by the Zo United alleged that “the majoritarian policies of the Biren Singh government led to tensions and a complete breakdown of trust between the Meiteis and the tribals. This eventually led to the outbreak of the violence.”
They claimed that the Kuki-Zo tribes have been forcibly displaced, with key institutions like technical institutes, hospitals, offices, and the state’s only airport now inaccessible.
Accusing the government and police of siding openly with the majority community, Zo United alleged that commandos led the attacks on tribal villages. They also alleged that the situation worsened when essential items, including central government aid, were blocked by Meitei mobs, preventing their distribution to tribal areas.
A memorandum was also submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah through Churachandpur deputy commissioner. The memorandum outlined what they claimed was a desperate need for a separate administration. It emphasised historical contributions of the Manipur tribal community to India’s independence struggle.
The memorandum stated about a humanitarian crisis, armed threats, and violence, with government-issued weapons allegedly distributed and posing a threat to the tribal communities.
It urged the Union Home Minister to consider the establishment of a separate administration.
Our Churachandpur correspondent added that in Churachandpur district, the rally started from Lamka Public Ground, Hiangtam Lamka, Churachandpur. It headed to the Wall of Remembrances, Tuibong where a short programme was held, and the memorandum for the Union Home Minister Amit Shah was handed via the DC.
The rallyists who mostly were black dressed and waving the Indian flag were sporting placards. The convenor of the Zo United Albert Renthlei said that the rally is all about requesting the Central Government to speed up the demand for Separate Administration for the Kuki -Zomi-Hmar and Mizo kindred people which was already made known to the government.
Our Kangpokpi correspondent has added that the Manipur’s Kangpokpi chapter of the nationwide protest was organised by the Committee on Tribal Unity, Sadar Hills under the aegis of the Zo-United, a Kuki-Zo civil society organisation’s parent body for all Kuki-Zo kindred Tribes in Manipur.
The protest rally in Kangpokpi District was held at Kangpokpi town and Saikul Hill town. Thousands of Kuki-Zo people across Kangpokpi district came out on the street to join the nationwide protest rally which kicked off at Nute Kailhang at around 12.30 pm.
The protestors marched towards SP Kangpokpi’s office via the National Highway 2 to submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner Kangpokpi to be forwarded to the Union Home Minister.
Shops, schools, and all other private institutions in the district remained closed for the day. A similar protest rally was also held in Saikul hill town with the same demand for a separate administration for the Kuki-Zo kindred tribes in Manipur.
Adequate security forces have been deployed by the District Administration and District Police to avoid any untoward incident during the rally in Kangpokpi town and Saikul. The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) urged every right-thinking citizen to join hands and stand together to fight for the ‘Right to Live’.