Concerns have arisen regarding the installation of barricades in various locations within the valley districts by central forces which have reportedly hindered farmers from accessing their fields and even prevented some residents from entering their homes.
In response to this situation, the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) on Thursday issued a demand for the government to take immediate action to ensure that farmers can work in their fields and people can freely access their homes.
COCOMI has warned that failure to address this demand will compel them to launch intensive forms of agitation in collaboration with the public.
COCOMI, in a release, highlighted that these barricades have been erected in the periphery of the valley districts by central forces, although there has been no official announcement regarding their installation.
Surprisingly, the barricades have been conspicuously absent from Kuki-dominated regions, while they have been implemented exclusively in Meetei-dominated areas of the valley, it said.
The release further revealed that in the areas adjacent to Bishnupur and Churachandpur, these barricades were constructed approximately three kilometres into Meetei-dominated territory, effectively creating a three-kilometre buffer zone solely within the Meetei land.
The recent protests on May 6 aimed to relocate these barricades towards the district border, citing instances of Kuki militants installing bunkers, looting Meetei homes, and committing crimes in the area, it highlighted.
COCOMI alleged that central forces have remained passive observers of these anti-social activities carried out by the Kuki, raising concerns that they may be indirectly facilitating the transfer of Meetei land to the Kuki within the buffer zone.
The release also highlighted that this buffer zone concept has been implemented extensively in Meetei-dominated areas along various routes, causing significant disruptions to agricultural activities and restricting access to homes.
The affected Meetei land by buffer zone, as per COCOMI, are in the area above High Canal in Bishnupur district, Imphal-Saikul road, Imphal-Ukhrul line, Leimakhong, Senjam Chirang, Kadangban, Kangchup, Sekmai, Kanglatombi, Mortbung, Kumbi to Haotak, Serou, Sungnu to Leingang Pokpi and others.
This has resulted in the wastage of valuable paddy lands and left many residents unable to reach their residences, it added.
Furthermore, in the release COCOMI expressed strong condemnation of the statement made by the Kuki Chiefs Association, which urged COCOMI not to cross the Line of Control (LOC).
COCOMI clarified that the use of the term LOC typically pertains to ceasefire agreements following wars between two countries and that they do not take the words of the Kuki Chiefs Association lightly.