Imphal/May 31, 2023 (SPN) | The Indigenous Peoples’ Front of Manipur (IPFM) on Tuesday stated that the Assam Rifles could have prevented the arson and burning down of Meitei houses/villages on May 3, 2023 at Churachandpur, Moreh, and other places.
Speaking to the media at the Manipur Press Club in Imphal on Tuesday, the Advisor of IPFM, Jagat Thoudam also exposed the actions of Assam Rifles, operating under IGAR (South), Mantripukhri, which have played a significant role in exacerbating the situation.
The rise and strengthening of the KNA/KNO, a terrorist outfit from Myanmar, with the protection of Assam Rifles, have added to the challenges faced by Manipur.
IPFM in a set of written questions to the Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah during his visit to Manipur, asked him if he is aware of the fact that the PDF camp is stationed with the full knowledge of Assam Rifles.
Assam Rifles and the Growth of KNA/KNO
In Manipur, the KNA/KNO has expanded its size and influence under the protection of Assam Rifles. This militant outfit, originating from Myanmar, has become a cause for concern due to its aggressive activities and the threats it poses to the security of the region.
The proximity of KNA/KNO to Assam Rifles raises questions about the extent of their collaboration and the impact it has had on the present crisis.
Aggressive Attacks and Land Claims by Frontal Organizations
Frontal organizations affiliated with the Kuki SoO militant outfits have launched aggressive attacks on the majority community in Manipur. They have claimed religious, historical, and protected sites, as well as reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries, further fueling the tensions in the region.
These actions have had severe repercussions on the sentiments of the majority community, as more than half of Manipur’s geographical area has been claimed as Kuki ancestral land, with the support of Kuki militant outfits who have Assam Rifles as their protectors.
Assam Rifles’ Role in Allowing Camps Outside Designated Areas
Assam Rifles has allowed Kuki SoO militant outfits to establish camps outside their designated areas, some of which are located in populated areas. This situation raises concerns about the extent of control and supervision exercised by Assam Rifles.
Examples include KNA’s camp in Moreh Ward No.1, instead of Chilep, and UKLF’s camp at S. Moljol Village, opposite Chavangphai Assam Rifles Camp in Moreh town, instead of its designated camp at Chandel District.
Involvement of People’s Democratic Front (PDF) and Training by KNA
Around 70 armed cadres of the People’s Democratic Front (PDF), a non-SoO signatory militant outfit from Myanmar, are stationed at Haolenphai Village, approximately 3 km from Moreh town, with the knowledge of Assam Rifles.
Additionally, KNA is reportedly training PDF cadres at Sahei Village and B. Bongjang Village, again with the full knowledge of Assam Rifles. These revelations highlight the deep-rooted issues that have contributed to the current crisis.
Assam Rifles’ Role in Ethnicization of Trade and Illegal Activities
Assam Rifles is accused of favoring Kukis over other communities in the ethnicization of trade in Moreh, leading to disparities and tensions among the residents.
Moreover, Assam Rifles has been facilitating the influx of Kuki migrants from Myanmar and allowing illegal poppy cultivation in encroached areas. These actions further contribute to the prevailing crisis and raise questions about the accountability and responsibilities of the security forces.
Inaction and Consequences of Manipur Government’s SOS Requests
On May 3, 2023, incidents of arson and the burning down of Meitei houses and villages occurred in Churachandpur, Moreh, and other places. The Manipur Government reportedly sent multiple SOS requests to the Central Government for timely intervention and assistance.
However, the concerned Ministry failed to act promptly, leading to the escalation of violence. This negligence has had far-reaching consequences and has left thousands of displaced Meiteis from Churachandpur, Moreh, Motbung, and Ekou without a second home to seek refuge.
The Unveiling of Narco-Terrorism and Its Implications
The current events unfolding in Manipur reveal a form of narco-terrorism aimed at establishing a homeland led by Kuki SoO militant outfits.
This illicit movement is funded by money obtained from poppy plantations, opium manufacturing, and drug smuggling. The alarming rise of narco-terrorism adds a complex layer to the existing crisis, posing a grave threat to the region’s security and stability.
IPFM further said that the recent wave of violence in Manipur has taken a disturbing turn, revealing a sinister agenda of narco-terrorism.
This violent episode is driven by Kuki SoO militant outfits, aiming to establish a homeland, and fueled by funds obtained from illicit activities such as poppy plantations, opium manufacturing, and drug smuggling.