Sunday, December 3, 2023

Manipur Police book Kuki leader after his ‘self-rule’ ultimatum

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The Manipur Police on Thursday filed a case against Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum General Secretary Muan Tombing after he warned the Union government that the organisation will establish “self rule” in areas dominated by Kuki-Zos if its demands for a separate administration are not met in two weeks.

The police have booked Tombig under Indian Penal Code Section 124A (sedition), among other provisions.

Apart from sedition, the police on Thursday accused the Kuki leader of “attempting to wage war” against the Union government and “wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot”.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), a coalition of tribal groups in Manipur, on Wednesday, gave the Union government two weeks to decide on its demand for a separate administration for the Kuki-Zo-dominated hill area.

This statement was made by Muan Tombing, General Secretary of the ITLF, to media persons on the sidelines of a rally held by the body in Churachandpur on Wednesday.

“If our voice is not heard within a couple of weeks, we will be setting up our self-government whether the Centre recognises it or not, we will go ahead.”

Since May 03, Manipur has been reeling from ethnic violence which divided the state into two ethnic-dominated regions— Hills for Kuki-Zo communities and Valley for Meiteis.

Calls for separate administrations have intensified due to the violence that killed over 200 people. Meiteis are not allowed to enter the hill region as ITLF-backed armed civilians have put up checkpoints on road.

ITLF organised a large rally organised a huge rally “against atrocities on Kuki-Zo tribals.”

According to a statement by the body, the rally was held to protest crimes against Kuki-Zomi civilians and it alleged “the cherry-picking of cases by police and central investigating agencies like CBI and NIA to appease the majority Meitei community at the expense of minority tribals.”

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