The National Socialist Council of Nagalim Isaac-Muivah (NSCN-IM) faction has lashed out at the Kukis accusing them of being responsible for the start of Naga-Kuki conflict in 1992. The NSCN response was a reaction to the allegation levelled by the Kukis that the former was responsible for the ‘Joupi massacre’.
According to the Kuki, as many as 115 Kuki villagers including women and children were allegedly killed by the armed cadres of the NSCN-IM in a single day in different places of Tamenglong and the erstwhile Senapati district known on September 13, 1993, which is called the “Joupi Massacre”.
The Kuki community has been observing September 13 as ‘SAHNIT-NI’ (Kuki Black Day) in remembrance of the victims who were killed during the ethnic clash which lasted from 1992 to 1997 and demanded justice for the victims.
In a statement the NSCN-IM said, the outfit is compelled to issue the statement to condemn and refute the false claim and accusation of the Kukis who are no different from a child who ‘blabbers’. The outfit contended that the Kukis started the Naga-Kuki conflict in 1992 as a result of the former’s attempt to capture the strategic Moreh border town in ‘Khurmi Region’ of Nagalim.
The conflict compelled the Nagas to form the Naga Lim Guard (NLG) for self-defence against the aggressive Kukis, or else the marauding Kukis might have displaced more Naga villages and the tolls would have been than the present figure of the lost innocent Nagas’ lives, it said.
The statement asserted that the situation then flared up and spiralled out of control in the entire Naga-Kuki inhabited areas, the Nagas were victimised instead. The tall claim of the Kukis that the NSCN carried out a genocidal act upon the Kukis is highly communal and inflammatory, it said.
Clarifying the NSCN has no hand in the Naga-Kuki conflict which took place during 1992-1997, the outfit said it was the NLG formed by the Naga villages which protected the Nagas and resisted the Kuki onslaught and aggression.
“Dragging the name of the NSCN in the Naga-Kuki conflict and accusing the NSCN of committing the so-called Kuki genocide is highly objectionable and malicious. The NSCN instead took the initiative to reduce and stabilise the Naga-Kuki tension. The Kukis, not content with its false accusation against the NSCN, has been observing the so-called Black Day to continuously defame the NSCN and sabotage the NSCN-Government of India peace talk in collaboration with the adversaries”, the Naga outfit held.
In terms of casualty, both the Nagas and Kukis suffered and neither of the two community can claim victory or defeat, it added.
The childish act of the Kuki community by going extra the mile to claim defeat and seek justice and compensation for their loss of lives and properties is nothing but an act of over exaggeration, trickery, self-mockery and self-destruction, further alleged the outfit.
Many Naga villages too were reduced to ashes and snatched away by the Kukis, apart from the hundreds of Nagas that were brutally massacred by both the Kuki public and militants, it continued.
“It is to bear in our hearts that observing the Black day will never bring forth any generous and harmonious coexistence but will only increase the animosity between the Nagas and Kukis”, advised the NSCN.