Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

State Opposition parties requests Governor to facilitate meet with PM

State Opposition Urge Governor to Facilitate All-Party Meet With PM; FIR Against ITLF Over Self-Rule Declaration; ITLF Rally in Churachandpur Condemns ‘Selective Justice’; ITLF Has Complicated Resettlement of Displaced Kukis Says COCOMI

The 10 Opposition parties of Manipur have made an appeal to the Governor of Manipur to facilitate an all-party meeting with the Prime Minister of India to end the prevailing unrest in Manipur.

The 10 opposition political parties – MPCC, JDU, CPI, CPI (M), AAP, RSP, NCP, SS (UBT), AIFB and AITC on November 17 submitted a memorandum to Manipur Governor Anusuiya Uikey and requested her to facilitate a meeting for all political parties in Manipur with the Prime Minister of India to find a solution to the present conflict in the state.

According to reports, Congress leader and also former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, speaking to the media at Congress Bhawan, Imphal on November 17, said that the ongoing violent conflict in Manipur is more than six months now and it has caused huge loss of lives, properties and displacement of more than 60,000 people belonging to both the communities.

“The living condition of the internally displaced people in relief camps is inhuman and far from satisfactory. There are instances of sporadic killing, firing and kidnapping of people including students, thereby, leaving the people in great tension, uncertainty and untold hardships, especially to those living on the periphery/borders between hills and valleys. The social and economic lives of all sections of the society have been uprooted. There is still a lot of mistrust among the people,” Ibobi said.

Ibobi said the Peace Committee constituted by the Union government has not done any visible work to restore peace and harmony in Manipur. Considering the complexities of the conflict in the state, a viable solution to conflict can only be brought by the Union Government, he added.

“We consider that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India is the only hope for bringing peace in the state. Leaders of the 10 political parties mentioned herein have resolved to approach you to facilitate a meeting of all political parties in Manipur with the Prime Minister to find a solution to the conflict under his leadership and guidance,” Ibobi said.

“We request the Governor for arranging the meeting at Manipur or else at Delhi if the Prime Minister is busy to visit Manipur,” Ibobi said. He further informed that the Governor happily listened to their request and assured of trying her best to initiate a meeting with the Prime Minister.

Earlier, an Executive Committee Meeting of the 10 Opposition Political Parties of Manipur at Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, BT Road, Imphal on November 16 resolved a three-point resolution including to meet the Governor to discuss the present situation of Manipur.

FIR Against ITLF Over Self-Rule Declaration

Manipur Police has lodged an FIR against the General Secretary of Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) Muan Tombing with charges of sedition and other various sections of Indian Penal Code.

According to reports, the complaint was lodged at Churachandpur Police station against Muan Tombing under conspiracy for waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India. The FIR was lodged under section 121-A/124-A/153/120-B IPC.

The Manipur government on November 16 strongly condemned the Indigenous Tribal Leader’s Forum (ITLF)’s recent announcement to declare a ‘self-government’ in Kuki-Zomi dominated area, stating that the ITLF’s move is aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law and order situation in Manipur.

Manipur Law Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar along with Dinganglung Gangmei, Chairman of Hill Area Committee told the media at the auditorium of DIPR, Nityaipat Chuthek on November 16 evening that the recent statement by ITLF has no legal or constitutional basis. This irresponsible statement appears to be motivated and aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law-and-order situation of the state.

A meeting attended by ruling legislators unanimously resolved to condemn the statement of ITLF at the strongest terms. Appropriate legal action is being initiated against the ITLF and persons concerned, the Law Minister said.

On November 15, ITLF threatened to set up a ‘self-government’ in the Kuki Zo inhabited area if the demand of ‘separate administration’ is not fulfilled by next two weeks.

In a video, ITLF General Secretary Muan Tombing said, “More than six months have passed since the ethnic strife started in Manipur but nothing has been done regarding our demand for a separate administration. If our demand is not heard within a couple of weeks, we will set up our self-government irrespective of whether the Centre recognises it or not

ITLF Rally in Churachandpur Condemns ‘Selective Justice’

A mass rally organised by the Indigenous Tribal Leader’s Forum (ITLF) against the alleged ‘selective justice’ in Manipur conflict by the government was taken out at Churachandpur district on November 15.

The rally started at 11 am from three locations, namely Konpui, Muolvaiphei and Pearsonmun Public Ground and culminated at the Wall of Remembrance, Tuibong where leaders of different organisations gave their respective speeches and submitted a memorandum for the Union government through the DC of Churachandpur, reports said.

The rallyists displayed a banner that read, ‘Kuki-Zo Lives Matter’, ‘We Demand Investigation On The Selective Justice In Manipur Conflict’ and the event lasted till the afternoon with many protestors shouting ‘We Demand Justice’, ‘Down Down Biren’, etc.

According to reports, their main goal is separate administration though they are demanding justice for those who became victims of the violence. The rally was to expedite the talk between the government and SoO groups.

ITLF Has Complicated Resettlement of Displaced Kukis Says COCOMI

The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) on November 16 lamented over the latest statement made by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) of forming its own self-governed administration and asserted that the same has complicated the future resettlement of Kuki communities in Manipur.

In a release, the COCOMI stated that ITLF’s unpalatable actions have not only made the future of the Kukis in Manipur uncertain but have also created tension among the various communities which are reeling under the conflict in the state.

The Kuki community itself will face the consequences of ITLF’s threat to set up self-government in areas dominated by the community, COCOMI stated. It alleged that the same is a tactic to escalate further violence in the strife-torn state.

It reflected the statements of the Central and State government that the ongoing conflict was caused by illegal migrants. It also voiced external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s assertion during a discussion in New York that the crisis in Manipur stemmed from influx of illegal immigrants.

The release alleged the Central government of failing to take decisive actions to combat the threats by the armed militants attempting to disintegrate the State till now and asked if there is a hidden agenda behind such a motive. It also demanded a public clarification on the same.

COCOMI pointed out the migration of the Kukis to Manipur and who allowed their settlement in the State. It further stated that the government must take immediate stock of the situation and initiate necessary actions against the Kuki immigrants who are waging war demanding ‘separate administration’.  It also condemned “the fabricated reports of the History of Manipur by the Kuki intellectuals including their claim of the Anglo-Kuki war which never happened.”

The COCOMI said the conflict is a deliberate war waged against the Central and State government’s initiatives to protect reserve and protected forests, curb poppy plantations and update NRC in the State. It urged the Government to be aware of the grave situation, threatening the lives of many innocents and take immediate action before it is too late.

PLA Claims AR Ambush Near Saibol, UKLF Clarifies

A patrolling team of 20th Assam Rifles was ambushed by militants using an IED at an area between Narum and Saibol under Tengnoupal Police Station in Tengnoupal district around 8 am on November 16, following which an exchange of gunfire between the security forces and the militants ensued. However, the AR team suffered no casualties as they were travelling on a Casspir vehicle.

The proscribed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has reportedly claimed responsibility on its Facebook page for the ambush against the AR at the spot between Narum and Saibol.

Tengnoupal Police Station has not received any information from the Assam Rifles concerning the reported ambush, sources said.

Meanwhile, the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF) issued a clarification, stating that none of its cadres were involved in the attack on Central Security Forces at Saibol-Narum village as claimed by a local news channel.

UKLF honours and respects the SoO agreement signed with the Government, stated a release issued by its joint secretary T James. Saibol-Narum village is a Maring village whereby UKLF does not have its presence in the area, it added.

NSUC Demands Apology From ATSUM

The Naga Students’ Union Chandel (NSUC) and its constituent units, while condemning false and frivolous allegations made by some members of ATSUM against a Lamkang woman on November 17, demanded those concerned to issue an apology at the earliest.

The comments being made allegedly by some participants of ATSUM WhatsApp group, namely Kakai Singsit, Thangboi Kipgen, James Doungel, Khaiminlen Doungel and Thangkam Lupheng are being circulated, amounting to character assassination of the Naga woman which warrants legal action, stated a release.

The NSUC demanded those involved to retract their statements and tender an apology to the Lamkang tribe in particular and the Nagas in general at the earliest. The union will not tolerate such defamatory acts or statements made by members of a reputed group like ATSUM, the release said.

The release asserted that comments made by such persons without substantiating or corroborating the information only denigrate the student organisation. Such provocative statements are uncalled for at such a critical juncture, NSUC said and added that the sentiments of the Nagas of Chandel have been profoundly miffed by the same.

Minister Nemcha Kipgen Distributes Financial Aid To IDPs

Manipur’s Textile, Commerce and Industries, and Cooperation Minister Nemcha Kipgen on November 17 launched the distribution of a one-time financial aid to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in her Kangpokpi Assembly Constituency for the second phase.

According to reports, Nemcha Kipgen launched the distribution of a one-time financial aid for the second phase at Mandap Relief Camp in Kangpokpi town in the presence of N Shonkhongam Baite, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Kangpokpi district and other concerned department officials.

Nemcha Kipgen, who is also one of the senior most BJP MLAs in Manipur, handed over the one-time financial aid of Rs 1,000 per head to all the inmates of Mandap Relief Camps where there are 285 IDPS.

COTU Begins Indefinite Economic Blockade

The indefinite economic blockade imposed by the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU) Sadar Hills, Kangpokpi district began in Manipur on November 15 midnight with strict checking of vehicular movement carrying essential commodities.

Alleging the authorities of keeping an indifferent attitude in dispensing law-and-order in Kuki-Zo inhabited areas, COTU had decided to impose an indefinite economic blockade along National Highways 2 and 37, the only lifelines of Manipur.

Volunteers were seen monitoring and checking the movement of vehicles along the highway carrying essential items toward the State capital Imphal. COTU instructed its volunteers to strictly enforce the economic blockade at various locations on both the highways.

The COTU had stated that it has been agitating for a meaningful resolution on different aspects but its demands have been consistently ignored. The committee also prepared a roaster for duty to monitor the movement of essential vehicles along the highway.

Hundreds of vehicles ferrying essential commodities are stranded along the National Highway – 2 in the Senapati area. COTU’s indefinite economic blockade has also been strictly enforced for the whole night by women folks and youths on a roaster basis from various localities and adjoining villages of Kangpokpi town, reports added.

Security Forces Rescue Civilian From Kuki Area

In response to the input received about a Meitei individual in Kuki dominated area, Indian Army liaised with relevant stakeholders to convince local Kuki Chiefs and evacuate the individual, according to a press handout from IGAR (South). Leichombam Langam, 61, son of late Leichombam Bira Singh of Leimaram was successfully evacuated from Tingkai Khullen on November 16.

The evacuation was conducted swiftly in coordination with OC, Nambol PS. The endeavour remains to work in synergy with Police and neighbouring central security forces to establish a strong safety grid with no further loss of life and property amidst the ongoing ethnic conflict.

Saikul MLA Kimneo Reaches Out To IDPs

Kuki-Zo MLA Kimneo Haokip Hangshing reaches out to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) sheltering in relief camps in her Saikul Assembly Constituency by providing winter requirements to protect them from the harsh cold of the winter.

Kimneo Haokip Hangshing is the first woman elected MLA from the 46-Saikul Assembly Constituency in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district and the youngest legislator among the 60 MLAs in Manipur.

The MLA visited a relief camp set up at Litan Sareikhong where more than five hundred IDPs are currently sheltering at the camp. There, she provided winter requirements such as blankets, mattresses and baby healthcare among many others while she also met a new born baby in the relief camp.

Earlier, the MLA had already visited many other relief camps and reached out to the inmates with vital requirements, reports added.

Assam Rifles Dropped Off 40 Myanmar Army At Tamu

As many as 40 Myanmar army personnel, including two officers, crossed the border and fled into Mizoram for their lives following the attack due to attacks on two Myanmar army posts at Zokhawthar, Champhai district, Myanmar on November 13 by around 100 anti-junta rebels of Myanmar’s ethnic armed organisations, namely Chin Defense Force, People’s Defense Force (PDF).

They were reportedly airlifted from Zokhawthar to the 5th Assam Rifles Helipad in Moreh Town, Tengnoupal district on an Indian Air Force Mi 17 helicopter, Eastern Command on November 14 at 10am. Later, the 5th AR dropped them off at Tamu, Myanmar.

Reports said that the Myanmar personnel crossed the international border to save themselves from the attacks launched by the anti junta forces in their two posts at the border. They made contact with the Indian Authority in Mizoram and took shelter across the border.

It also mentioned that they stayed the night at an Indian Army camp in Champhai district and they were dropped off the next day at an army base camp in Tamu, Myanmar by the 5th AR personnel.

The Myanmar Army soldiers had surrendered to Mizoram Police following the recent conflict between the Myanmar Army and the CNA/CDF on the Myanmar border. Due to the recent clash, 39 Myanmar Army soldiers surrendered in the evening on November 13, and another four Myanmar Army soldiers also surrendered on November 14 morning to Mizoram Police. They were later handed over to the Assam Rifles as per Home Ministry instruction. The Myanmar soldiers are transferred to Moreh by an Indian Air Force helicopter, reports added.

MHA Extends Ban On “Meitei Extremist Organisations”

The Ministry of Home Affairs on November 13 declared nine Meitei Extremist Organisations along with all their factions, wings and front organisations as unlawful associations with immediate effect for the next five years.

The Government of India made the declaration in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), on November 13 under a notification issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and signed by its Additional Secretary Piyush Goyal.

The notification mentioned that the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) and its political wing; the Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF); the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and its armed wing, the Manipur Peoples’ Army (MPA); the Peoples’ Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) and its armed wing, the ‘Red Army’; the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) and its armed wing, also called the ‘Red Army’; the Kanglei Yaol Kanna Lup (KYKL); the Coordination Committee (CorCom) and the Alliance for Socialist Unity Kangleipak (ASUK) along with all their factions, wings and front organisations, as unlawful associations.

It further mentioned that the Central Government, having regard to the circumstances, is further of opinion that it is necessary to declare the said Meitei Extremist Organisations accordingly, in exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (3) of section 3 of the said Act, the Central Government hereby directs that this notification shall, subject to any order that may be made under section 4 of the said Act, have effect from November 13, 2023, for a period of five years.

The notification said these organisations have been engaging in activities prejudicial to the sovereignty and integrity of India, employing and engaging in armed means to achieve their aforesaid objectives; attacking and killing the security forces, the police and civilians in Manipur.

It stated that the said organisations have been indulging in acts of intimidation, extortion and looting of civilian population for collection of funds for their organisations, making contacts with sources abroad for influencing public opinion and for securing their assistance by way of arms and training for the purpose of achieving their secessionist objective; and maintaining camps in neighbouring countries for the purpose of sanctuaries, training and clandestine procurement of arms and ammunition.

The Central Government is of the opinion that the activities of the Meitei Extremist Organisations are considered detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India.

It also stated that the Central Government is of the opinion that if there is no immediate curb and control of the Meitei Extremist Organisations they will take the opportunity to mobilise their cadres for escalating their secessionist, subversive, terrorist and violent activities; of India; propagate anti-national activities in collusion with forces inimical to sovereignty and integrity; indulge in killings of civilians and targeting of the police and security force personnel; procure and induct illegal arms and ammunitions from across the international border, and extort and collect huge funds from public for their unlawful activities.

Also Read