The Manipur government has urged the Centre to take stiff action against militant outfits violating the ground rules under the Suspension of Operation (SoO). The development was confirmed by government spokesperson Th. Radheshyam after an emergency Cabinet meeting.
The request comes in the wake of reports of Kuki militants intimidating a representative of the same community over an agreement reached on the “Anglo-Kuki War” issue. The government spokesperson further said that the police is trying to verify which group is responsible for the threat.
“The government will not spare any party or group that are trying to breach the hard-earned peace in the state or trying to create enmity between co-existing communities,” said government spokesperson.
Over the past few days, tension has been running high in the state owing to a confrontation between Kuki and Naga civil bodies over a memorial stone commemorating the culmination of a three-year observation of the centenary of ‘Anglo-Kuki War’ (1917-1919) at C. Aisan Village in Kangpokpi district. As such, the Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee under the aegis of the Kuki Inpi Manipur asked every Kuki village in the state to erect stone with the inscription “In defense of our ancestral land and freedom,” in memory of those who fought the British colonialists.
The Naga bodies objected to the move claiming that the ‘Anglo-Kuki War’ never happened. Moreover, the Nagas said that the stones with the “provocative” inscription cannot be erected in Naga ancestral land. The tension was, however, pacified by the state after it reached an understanding with the Kuki bodies on Wednesday night.
Radhesyam pointed out that KIM and the Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee on Wednesday agreed to remove the words “in defence of our ancestral land and freedom” and instead insert “in defence of dignity and freedom” on memorial stones. The agreement was reached after the state government assured to declare October 17 as a restricted holiday and a Kuki Rebellion memorial park be set up in Imphal area, stated Radheshyam.
However, on Thursday, the memorial stone erected at C. Aisan in Saikul, with the contentious inscription “in defence of our ancestral land and freedom” was unveiled. A video of the unveiling ceremony went viral on social media.
“Some members of a Kuki outfit currently under SoO with the state and central government has intimidated representation of Kuki community, led by Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) who had reached an agreement with the government yesterday. As per the report, the outfit forced the representation not to accept the agreement”, said Radheshyam.