The Kuki National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella of 17 Kuki militant groups, submitted a representation to Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, urging him for non-inclusion of ‘Kuki ancestral land’ in the ‘Framework Agreement’ of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN-IM).
The representation, signed by KNO president PS Haokip, requested the CM to ensure facts on Kuki and Naga boundary issue based on legal documentation of land ownership rights and history.
Giving ‘historical accounts’ of Kuki ancestral land with respect to Chassad (Kamjong district), Laijang (Tamenglong district), Mongkotjang (Noney district) and Phoibung (Senapati district), it contended that Hundung Khullen, Hundung Khunou and Ningthi constitute Kamjong, land of Chingburoi, where Khaba-Ngaba settled.
The areas must not be included in the NSCN (IM) and Centre’s ‘framework agreement’ and become part of Nagalim, it said. Tangkhul people are from Somra Tract in Myanmar (Burma) and are a different ethnic entity from Meitei and Kuki, the outfit asserted.
KNO further contended that the Zeimi, Liangmei, Rongmei and Paomei people, who comprise Zeliangrong of present-day Tamenglong district, are of ethnic Kuki-Chin stock. In the past, the Sukte Poi and Lusei people of Chin Hills and present-day Mizoram drove them to Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Sinjol, Sailhem and Bombal villages of Peren District of Nagaland, it said.
The Kuki chiefs of Khongjang, Jampi, and Laijang fought back Sukte Poi and Lusei, gave shelter to Zealiengrong people, settled them in Kuki ancestral land and received tax and tributes, it added.
“Over the years, however, generations of Zealiengrong that followed, not recalling the relations with Kukis resented the practice of tax and tributes, and were loyal to the British in the Anglo-Kuki War of 1917-1919. Later, they became instruments of NSCN (IM) against Kukis and demanded tax”.
Nevertheless, “just as oil and water cannot mix, they soon realised that they are not secure under NSCN (IM) and to assert their independence, they formed the Zealienrong United Front (ZUF)”, it said.
The Paomei people of Senapati (formerly Phoibung) are also part of the Kuki-Chin group, like Zealienrong, further claimed the outfit. Similarly to the Zeliangrong, the Suhte Poi and Lushei (Mizo) also forced them out, but the Kuki chiefs fought back them and settled the Paomei in Kuki ancestral land known as Phoibung, which was changed to Senapati later, said KNO.
Although the people of village Yangkholen in Senapati district are Tuboi Kuki, the wave of ‘Naga-nisation’ led to forced assimilation of Paomei and Tuboi Kuki to Naga, maintained the KNO.
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