CCpur, Sep 13 : The Kukis today observed the 25th anniversary of ‘Sahnit,’ the Kuki Black Day considered to be the darkest day in Kuki history with the continuous 3 days observation in Churachandpur attaining its summit with the leader of a Kuki rebel group declaring that they shall continue to fight for justice for hapless Kuki villagers killed, uprooted, orphaned, and widowed by the genocide.
‘Today, we are saying that Kukis shall continue to fight crime against humanity, irresponsible Governments and communal tyranny. We are gathered today to tell the world that our blood shall not flow in vain, and we will not cede the land we guarded with our blood, against the British colonial army, the land the blood of our infants and suckling mothers washed,’ KNO president PS Haokip said while delivering his ‘Sahnit’ message.
He added, ‘freedom and security, justice for people in the land are not free commodities. We have to fight for them. We have been fighting for them, and we shall never cease the fight till we see justice done. We shall carry on, however long the road. This must be our promise to our brothers and sisters who have been slain, Kukis who have marked our territories with their blood.’
The KNO is in political dialogue with the Central Government, and he insisted, there they have consistently been telling the GoI that Kukis will feel safe only when their right to govern themselves in their land is given recognition.
‘We cannot settle for any less. The KNO is ready to stand with the Kuki people till that right of ours is respected, and no attempt to trample over our land and rights will be tolerated. We will not hesitate to go back to the jungles if our rights are not respected and Kukis treated with dignity. This we owe to our over 1000 victims of genocide whose blood we shall never allow to be in vain,’ he declared and called every Kuki to rise above petty considerations of tribe, dialect, region and to stand united in the demand for justice of martyrs, and join the cry for self-determination of their people on their own land.
The 13th of September is observed as Kuki Black Day for the past 25 years as it is on this day in 1993 that the ‘NSCN-IM-led killers mercilessly butchered more than 1000’ innocent and defenceless Kuki villagers in a single day.
The subsequent violence which is now often dubbed by the Kukis as ‘Kuki genocide’ perpetrated by NSCN (IM) also saw more than 360 villages torched or uprooted.
Today as the observation attained its 25th year, the Kuki people have been asking the Governments both in the State and the Centre how and why they allowed the ethnic cleansing pogrom to drag on for 5 eerie years (1992-1997).
‘Why is the GoI denying justice to Kukis over the killing of more than 1000 Kuki citizens of India ? Why is the perpetrator of Kuki genocide, Th Muivah not brought to justice, but engaged in talks ? Why is the GoI turning a blind eye to Kuki genocide and a deaf ear to Kuki appeals for justice ? Why are the State and Central Governments not heeding Kuki demands for securing their safety and dignity through self-governance of our territories ?,’ he asked.
These are some of the pertinent questions the observation committee have been raising all through the three day event amidst narratives before the public by survivors and witnesses of the gruesome crime.
They have also taken the occasion to advance a pledge of upholding human rights, continue the fight for justice and to secure their lands and rights aside from other rituals.