Last Updated on October 3, 2023 by SPN Editor
Churachandpur/October 03, 2024 (SPN) | Normal life in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts has been severely disrupted due to an indefinite total shutdown called by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) and Committee On Tribal Unity (COTU).
The total shutdown is in protest against the arrest of the Chin Kuki militants in connection with the kidnapping and murders of two Meitei students. This shutdown mainly affects Chin Kuki inhabited areas in the hill districts of Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Pherzawl and Tengnoupal.
As a result of the shutdown, all shops, markets, and commercial activities have come to a standstill. Government offices, schools, and educational institutions are closed as well.
After the arrest, Chin Kuki tribal women took to the streets in protest. They blocked roads leading to different places and also held a sit-in protest in front of the Mini-Secretariat and the Superintendent of Police office in Churachandpur district.
The CBI mentioned that they had received two cases from the Manipur Government on August 23. They took over these cases, which were initially filed by the State police based on complaints from parents of minor victims.
These cases were registered as FIR No.584(7) 2023 dated 08.07.2023 at Police Station Imphal and FIR No.1009(7)2023 dated 19.07.2023 at Police Station, Lamphel.
During their investigation into these cases, the CBI arrested four individuals. They will be presented before the competent court in Guwahati following the orders of the Supreme Court.
Various organizations, including Kuki Inpi Manipur, Kuki Students’ Organisation, Hmar Students’ Association, and Kuki Women’s Organisation for Human Rights, have condemned the arrest of minors and innocent civilians. They consider this a violation of human rights and call for their safe return to their families.
These organizations also urge relevant authorities, including the CBI, to ensure justice and child protection, and to engage in open dialogue with the communities concerned to address their concerns.
The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) has imposed a total shutdown along National Highway 37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) in connection with the arrest of a Chin Kuki people.
They have also issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Union Home Ministry for the release of Chin Kuki individuals, warning of an indefinite total shutdown if their demands are not met.
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The arrest of individuals and detention of minors by the CBI has sparked strong condemnation from various Chin Kuki tribal bodies. Protests and sit-ins have taken place, and the situation remains tense.
The CBI has stated that it has taken over the investigation of cases registered by the Manipur Government and has arrested four individuals. Two minor children accompanying the arrested accused have been handed over to the District Children Protection Officer.
In response to the arrests, the Joint Student Body (JSB) of Lamka called for a “12-hour total shutdown” in the entire district of Lamka (Churachandpur) in protest.
Janghaolun Haokip, the Information and Publicity Secretary of KIM (Kuki Inpi Manipur) has called for the immediate release of those who were arrested in connection with the murder of two Meitei students.