Amid recent flare-up, Manipur body calls for national focus on ‘Kuki extremists’

The State’s security advisor Kuldiep Singh said Kuki extremists and members of Myanmar-based People’s Defence Force attacked Indian security forces

Updated - January 20, 2024 09:29 am IST

Published - January 20, 2024 06:48 am IST - GUWAHATI

Meitei people participate in a rally organised by Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) in Imphal on July 29, 2023.

Meitei people participate in a rally organised by Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) in Imphal on July 29, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI


The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an Imphal Valley-based socio-cultural organisation, has sought national focus on the increasing involvement of Kuki extremists in a series of attacks on security forces in Moreh area bordering Myanmar.

The organisation said New Delhi should take serious note of the escalation of violence along the India-Myanmar border following an update of the Moreh incidents by Kuldiep Singh, the State’s security advisor.

Also Read | Free Movement Regime to end at Myanmar border

“Since yesterday [January 17] morning, a large number of Kuki militants started firing at commando posts which are at three locations... PDF insurgents operating at Moreh and maybe some reinforcement from Burma [Myanmar] side also. They attacked the State forces at Moreh,” Mr. Singh said at a media briefing in Imphal on Thursday.

PDF refers to the People’s Defence Force, the armed wing of the exiled National Unity Government in Myanmar.

There are more than 25 extremist groups catering to the Kuki-Zomi aspirations, almost all of which had inked an agreement for the suspension of operations much before the ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, 2023. The conflict continues to simmer in the State.

“The COCOMI urges an analysis of Mr. Singh’s critical statements, shedding light on the potential engagement of foreign mercenaries and Kuki militants, currently in suspension of operations with the Government of India,” the organisation said in a statement on Friday.

“Recognising these factors, eight months post-violence is crucial in understanding the root causes of Manipur’s ongoing crisis and can contribute to finding lasting solutions,” the COCOMI said.

The security advisor’s comments followed the death of six civilians in two separate incidents — one in Imphal West district bordering Kangpokpi district and the other in Bishnupur district bordering Churachandpur district — within 24 hours since Wednesday night.

A village defence volunteer was killed in the Imphal West attack by extremists. Five persons, including a father and son, were gunned down in the Bishnupur incident.

Officials said the bullet-riddled bodies of two persons were recovered from Ningthoukhong Kha-Khunou village on Friday morning. The bodies of three others were recovered on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, the United Tribal Women Forum slammed Mr. Singh for giving out “misguided and wrong information” related to the Moreh incidents to the media. In a statement on Friday, the forum asked why he was being silent about the presence of Meitei extremists among the Manipur police commandos that have been targeting Kuki-Zo civilians indiscriminately.

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