Manipur: Kuki-Zo people demonstrate seeking separate administration
They also demanded that the Centre hold proper talks with Kuki groups who had earlier signed a Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact with the government
The Kuki-Zo community people have demonstrated in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district to press the demand for a separate administration for the tribe.
They also demanded that the Centre hold proper talks with Kuki groups who had earlier signed a Suspension of Operations (SoO) pact with the government.
The demonstrators under the banner of the Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills held a sit-in at Gamgiphai, a village along the border of Kangpokpi and Imphal West districts.
“We are holding a peaceful sit-in. We want that the government meet our demand for separate administration for us,” one of the protestors said on Wednesday.
Ten tribal MLAs belonging to the Chin-Kuki-Mizo-Zomi group in Manipur have urged the Centre to create a separate administration for their community in the wake of the violent clashes between the Meiteis and tribals. Chief Minister N Biren Singh has rejected the demand.
The Kuki-Zo demonstrators also said they support the United People’s Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organization (KNO), as there is speculation that the Centre will hold talks with the two groups that had inked the SoO pact.
The SoO agreement was signed by the Centre, the Manipur government and two conglomerates of Kuki militant outfits – KNO and UPF. The pact was first signed in 2008 and extended periodically.
Ethnic violence broke out in Manipur nearly three months ago, killing over 160 people since then, and injuring hundreds.
The violence erupted on May 3 after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.