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Kuki CSOs Urge Re-Imposition of AFSPA in Manipur

Last Updated on July 17, 2023 by SPN Editor

Imphal/July 17, 2023 (SPN) | Kuki CSO demands the re-imposition of AFSPA in Manipur, the Colonial Act which has been vehemently opposed by Naga and Meitei for several decades.

The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), along with the Kuki Students Organisation, Kuki Chiefs Association Manipur, and Kuki Khanglai Lawmpi, have jointly submitted a memorandum urging Union Home Minister Amit Shah to re-impose the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, AFSPA in Manipur, especially the valley districts.

In their memorandum, the Kuki civil society organizations (CSOs) called for stricter and enhanced security measures to control and combat subversive, prejudicial, and anti-national activities of militant groups, particularly in vulnerable areas.

They emphasized the need to deploy additional Central security forces in the buffer zones to ensure the safety and security of civilians.

The CSOs expressed that no units of the Central forces, including the Assam Rifles, currently engaged in maintaining law and order, should be removed or replaced. They stressed the importance of their continued presence in the region.

Furthermore, the CSOs urged the Union Home Minister to relieve N Biren of all responsibilities, both political and security-related, and replace him with a competent army officer as the head of the Unified Command.

This, they believed, would instill confidence and trust, paving the way for a negotiated settlement. They also demanded an end to the alleged constant aggression in Kuki areas by Meitei forces.

Another key demand raised by the Kuki CSOs was a thorough investigation into the role of the State Government in the alleged transfer of arms and ammunition from the State’s armories.

They called for the recovery of the “looted” arms and sought a probe into the alleged nexus between militant groups and CM N Biren.

The CSOs expressed deep concern over the escalating tragedies and difficulties faced by the Kuki people, stating that despite claims of “improvement” in the situation, the crisis continued to grow.

They accused CM N Biren of being the architect of the chaos and mayhem in Manipur, asserting that allowing him to remain in power would perpetuate tension and prolong the crisis. They believed that such actions undermined the intentions and efforts of peace initiatives taken by the Central government.

The CSOs also alleged that Meitei civil society organizations (CSOs) and even Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) obstructed the Central paramilitary forces from carrying out their duties impartially.

They claimed that the Central forces were constrained due to the lifting of AFSPA in Manipur, from most areas in the valley, as many areas had been de-notified.

The memorandum further accused N Biren Singh of displaying double standards, preaching peace on one hand while allegedly encouraging attacks on the Kukis on the other. The CSOs claimed that he quickly blamed Suspension of Operations (SoO) groups for the violence, without corroborated evidence, and labeled them as “terrorists.”

However, they alleged that he turned a blind eye to the prejudicial activities of outlawed armed groups involved in attacks on Kuki civilians and communal riots.

The CSOs criticized CM N Biren, the head of the Unified Command, for failing to recover the thousands of arms and ammunition allegedly handed over (or said to be ‘looted’) to the Meitei Village Defence Volunteers during the violent incidents.

They asserted that negotiations or peace initiatives would be challenging to pursue while Kukis allegedly continued to face constant aggression from Meiteis.

The joint memorandum from the Kuki CSOs highlights their concerns regarding security and stability in Manipur Valley.

It calls for the re-imposition of AFSPA in Manipur, stringent security measures, and the replacement of N Biren to address the ongoing issues and restore peace in the region.