| Kukis in Manipur take part in the rally in Imphal on Friday. Picture by UB Photos |
Imphal, July 4: The Kuki community in Manipur today took out peaceful marches across the state demanding justice against alleged atrocities by cadres of the NSCN (Isak-Muivah) in the nineties.
Though the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), the apex body of the community, said the marches were not targeting anyone or any community, the United Naga Council (UNC) expressed concern at the development.
KIM general secretary Khaimang Chongloi said the march was against the state government and the Centre for their “lackadaisical” attitude on the “victimisation” of the Kukis by the NSCN (I-M).
He claimed cadres of the outfit had murdered 905 Kuki people, including women and children, uprooted 360 villages and displaced 1 lakh people, who are still unable to go back to their villages.
Kukis observe September 13 every year as “Black Day” in memory of the Kukis killed during the ethnic classes that began in 1992 and continued till 1995.
Chongloi demanded the Centre should deliver justice to the Kukis before making any settlement with the NSCN (I-M), which is holding talks with the Centre since 1997.
The apex body of the Kukis wants compensation for the people killed in the clashes and settlement for those displaced.
“We have submitted more than 60 memoranda to the Centre demanding justice. We are holding the peaceful rally as a reminder to the Centre and the state government that Kukis are still waiting for justice,” Chongloi said.
After holding a peaceful march in Imphal, the Kuki group submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through governor V.K. Duggal and chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
The memorandum urged the Prime Minister “to first settle the plight of the Kuki people before any possible agreement is reached with the NSCN (I-M)”. It demanded trial of crimes by a proper court of law and punishment for the perpetrators.
Similar marches were taken out in other parts of the state, including Churachandpur and Chandel districts, and the protesters submitted identical memorandum to the deputy commissioners of the respective districts.
Police teams were deployed along the route of the rally to prevent any untoward incident.
On the other hand, the UNC said it believed opening old wounds and creating fresh hostilities was not the wish of anyone, be it Kukis or Nagas. The UNC strongly believed that justice for the victims, be it Kukis or Nagas, could be achieved only when the quest for such was underpinned and founded on the spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness, it said in a statement.
The UNC alleged the state government sponsored the rally to incite communal hatred and animosity.