In the continually unfolding tragedy in Manipur, 24 Kuki residents who had bravely held their grounds in their homes in New Lambulane, were evacuated by the security forces at midnight September 1, allegedly against their will, but ostensibly to ensure their safety in the wake of the recent explosion of sentiments following outbreak of gunfights at the foothills adjoining Churachandpur and Bishnupur districts at the Naranseina and Phubala areas not far from Loktak Lake.
Till date they were living under tight cordon by Central security forces and state police, but recently there was a case of fire which gutted three empty houses in the area, one of which belonged to Meitei.
It is learnt that some thieves breached the wall of an unoccupied house from the northern side at night and looted it. After doing so, to destroy evidence they also set the house on fire. The fire spread singeing more houses before being brought under control.
We are reproducing below three separate press statements released today by different interest groups on the unfortunate evacuation of the 24 residents, so that readers can make an estimate of the multiplicity of vested interests now at work in the state.
The first, which obviously is the most truthful testimony, is by the evacuated residents themselves. The second by the Kuki Inpi Manipur, KIM, and the third by the World Kuki-Zo Intellectual Council, WKZIC.
In the intervening midnight of Sept 1-2, 2023 a team of uniformed armed personnel claiming to be acting under directions from the Home Department came to New Lambulane, Imphal and forcibly evicted the last remaining residents of the last remaining Kuki locality in Imphal from our homes.
24 of us were not given time to even pack our belongings and we were literally herded into the waiting Casper bullet proof vehicles. Many of us were woken up from our sleep and pulled by our arms into the waiting vehicles with only the clothes we were wearing.
We expressed our strong displeasure at this high handed abduction like forcible evacuation executed against our will. We regret that a country like India is unwilling to ensure the life and security of its citizens at the place of their residence, succumbing to the intimidation of chaotic forces trying to destroy the society and the state.
On behalf of all the 24 (including ourselves), residents of New Lambulane, Imphal, forcibly
evacuated on midnight of Sept 1, we are –
- S Prim Vaiphei
Formerly, 2nd Street, New Lambulane
- Hejang Kipgen
Formerly, 3rd Street, New Lambulane
KUKI INPI MANIPUR
Kanggui, the 2nd September, 2023
The Kuki Inpi Manipur is aghast at the dastardly attack against the last of the Kuki-Zo volunteers (numbering about 24 men) who have been guarding the houses and properties of the Kukis at New Lambulane, Imphal, from the intermittent arson and looting of the boorish bloodthirsty Meiteis. The volunteers were later escorted by security personnel and have safely reached our land despite the dread of the barbaric Meitei attack.
Hence, the Kuki Inpi Manipur hereby issue this declaration that there is now “total separation of the Meiteis and the Kukis”. As such, it is imperative that the central government shold constitutionally recognise this ‘separation’ at the earliest without any further delay. Besides the compelling evacuation of the people, all the Kuki settlements have been looted, vandalised and torched by the Meiteis. The only viable solution to the ongoing state-sponsored ethnic cleansing against the Kuki people lies in the total separation of the two communities – Meiteis and Kukis, the process of which has been completed in the aftermath of the evacuation of the remaining Kuki volunteers in Imphal last night.
At this critical juncture, the Kuki Inpi Manipur reiterates its demand for Separate Administration as it strongly entreats the Government of India to expedite meaningful, honourable political dialogue with the KNO/UPF under Suspension of Operation (SoO) for justice, peace, and lasting solution in the region.
Secretary, Information & Publicity
Kuki Inpi Manipur
WORLD KUKI=ZO INTELLECTUAL COUNCIL (WKZIC)
Dated: 2nd Sept 2023
The World Kuki-Zo Intellectual Council (WKZIC) General Headquarters: Songpi-Lamka, India expresses its appreciation over the “Good Samaritian Service” of the Assam Rifles personnel and state Manipur Police Commandos for saving the lost souls of Kuki-Zo people stranded in New Lambulane Imphal East, some jail inmates and other remnants peoples from different locations after the tormented 121 days; in the evening of the 1st September, 2023. They were unfortunately made hostage by their emotion, fear and vested interest of Meitei media people for their communal propaganda.
The deep experiences and understanding of the Assam Rifles in dealing the conflict situation is quite distinguishing, exemplary and outstanding feat which led to save 24 person’s lives. The selfless services rendered by the Government through the most experienced Security personnel worth’s un-equal gratitude and exceeding appreciation. The council extend war welcome to our brethren coming home.
Lastly but not the least, the council members thanked Elder Tilkhothang Haokip for offering love & encouragement feat and Rev. Dr. Lhunkhohao Haokip for the blessing prayer upon the members of the council.
Director Information & Public Relations