Meitei body urge PM not to divide Manipur as demanded by tribals

New Delhi/Imphal: A day before the tribal leaders’ meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to press for their demand for creation of a separate state for tribals, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), apex body of the Meitei community, on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to divide Manipur and to introduce the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The COCOMI submitted its memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office highlighting the resolutions adopted in the mass rally held on July 29 in Imphal.

The other demands of the COCOMI include an end to the present ethnic conflict and eliminating foreign (illegal immigrants) and Chin-Kuki “narco-terrorism”.

After submitting the memorandum in the PMO, COCOMI coordinator Jeetendra Ningomba, in a video message, claimed that the foreign elements, including some of the leaders of the Kuki-Zomi outfits with which Suspension of Operation pacts were signed, are directly involved in the Manipur conflict and they should either be eliminated or pushed out of the territory of India.

“To identify illegal immigrants, the NRC must be implemented in the state with 1951 as the base year. This is to deprive illegal immigrants from being citizens though they may continue to stay as guests, if necessary, without indulging in destructive politics by creating concocted history and bombarding the media and seeking support from the left liberals to achieve what is known as a Kuki-Zomi nation (Zalengam) comprising areas from three countries,” the memorandum said.

The COCOMI said that the conflict can only be inferred to be pre-planned as tension started building up from April 27 after an open gym to be inaugurated by the manipur Chief minister was vandalised.

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The involvement of those in Mizoram can be seen by the press handouts of the Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Aizawl of April 30, regarding the eviction of unauthorised encroachers from reserved and protected forest.

Further the involvement of cadres of the Chin Defence Force (CDF) in the present conflict can’t be denied and even the National Unity Government of Myanmar had appealed to all its units not to be involved in affairs of neighbouring countries, the COCOMI memorandum claimed.

It said that though cadres of CDF, who are drawn from among the Chins settled in Shan State and Sagaing Division of Myanmar have reportedly been trained by Kuki National Army in Manipur territory, “it seems that there are likely to be other powers’ influence to create turmoil in the border state of Manipur. As the present conflict involves national security, it is of utmost importance that this aspect is thoroughly probed and curtailed”.

In fact, the root cause of the Naga-Kuki conflict of the 1990s was due to the claim of Kuki ancestral land by the immigrant Kuki after settling in Naga areas after seeking permission from the Naga village chiefs, the memorandum stated.

Meanwhile, a four-member delegation of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) would meet Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday to press for its demands.

The ITLF’s demands include a separate state for the tribals, Manipur Police and commandos should not be deployed in the hill areas of Manipur, inmates lodged in the jails in Imphal should be shifted to others states of the country, and legalisation of a site for mass burial of tribals killed during the ethnic violence.  (IANS)

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