Manipur: protest against demand for 'separate administration' by Kukis

The demonstration was held on a day when a delegation of 21 MPs from the opposition alliance INDIA arrived here to assess the ground situation

Representative image of Meitei protest (photo: Getty Images)
Representative image of Meitei protest (photo: Getty Images)


A massive rally was taken out here on Saturday to protest against the demand for a 'separate administration' for areas inhabited by the Kuki community. Tens of thousands of demonstrators from across five valley districts of the state participated in the rally, demanding the territorial integrity of the northeastern state where race riots began in early May..

The protest march, organised by Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), began at Thangmeiband in Imphal West district and culminated at Hapta Kangjeibunand in Imphal East, covering a distance of 5 km.

Holding aloft placards, demonstrators raised slogans against those who demanded separate administration, and against "illegal immigrants from Myanmar".

The demonstration was held on a day when a delegation of 21 MPs from the opposition alliance INDIA arrived here to assess the ground situation.

Notably, ten MLAs from the Kuki community in Manipur had, in May, demanded a separate administration, stating that the administration had “miserably failed to protect” the Chin-Kuki-Zomi tribals.

Kukis, who have demanded a separate administration, have however not made clear the definition of a separate administration as also the areas for which they are claiming such a dispensation.

The committee that organised the rally was also against the ongoing talks, reportedly being held in Delhi, between a home ministry team and former Kuki militants..

Sarat, a protester who came from the Bishnupur district, said, "After almost three months of arson, killings and torching of our houses, how can we give up our land.".

K Gandhi from the Uripok area, who participated in the rally, said, "We want the army to take action against militants." .

The demonstrators held a meeting at Hapta Kangjeibunand and demanded the implementation of the National Register of Citizens and convening of a special Assembly session before August 5 to discuss ethnic violence in the state.

More than 160 people lost their lives and many were injured since ethnic clashes broke out in Manipur 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. Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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    Published: 29 Jul 2023, 5:57 PM