Manipur group to Amit Shah: Kuki outfits intensifying attacks, cannot surrender arms

More than 4,000 firearms were snatched from police set-ups across the Imphal Valley in Manipur since violence broke out on May 3

June 07, 2023 11:39 am | Updated 04:10 pm IST - Guwahati

People from Manipur’s Kuki community hold a protest outside Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence against the ongoing violence in the northeastern state, in New Delhi, Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

People from Manipur’s Kuki community hold a protest outside Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s residence against the ongoing violence in the northeastern state, in New Delhi, Wednesday, June 7, 2023. | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar

A Manipur-based civil society group has said the State’s youth were unwilling to surrender their arms in view of intensified attacks by Kuki “terrorists”.

In a memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah on June 4, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) listed a series of attacks by Kuki extremist groups on the Meitei people inhabiting the Imphal Valley and the surrounding foothills. COCOMI primarily represents the Meitei people.

The organisation lamented that Mr. Shah’s appeal for peace has had little or no impact on the ground. Normalcy is yet to be restored in the periphery of the Imphal Valley despite the Home Minister’s warning of stringent action of the Kuki extremist outfits violate the ground rules of the suspension of operations.

Some 25 extremist groups catering to the aspirations of the Kuki-Zomi group of tribes are under the suspension of operations.

The COCOMI said that the “inaction” of the Assam Rifles and other security personnel has stoked anger among the people and eroded faith in the Centre. It appealed to Mr. Shah “for one last time” on behalf of the people of Manipur “to take up befitting action against the defiant Kuki terrorists” as an emergency.

Failure to rein the Kuki extremists in would force the people of Manipur, especially the Meitei community, to reorganise a “new wave of protest and action against those who are targeting innocent villagers”, the group said.

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“It would be very important to remind you… the local youths are now not willing to surrender arms as the attacks by the Kuki terrorists are being intensified,” the COCOMI said, adding that the Kuki outfits have been showing “continuous aggression” towards Meitei villages since June 1.

More than 4,000 firearms and 2 lakh ammunition were snatched from police set-ups across the Imphal Valley soon after violence broke out on May 3. Less than 20% of these have been returned, some after Mr Shah’s visit to the State from May 29 to June 1.

More than 100 people have been killed and 35,000 displaced since violence in Manipur broke out on May 3.

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