KANGPOKPI, Sep 13 : Black donned the entire Kuki inhabited area as the 27th Sahnit Ni was observed across the globe by the Kukis today in remembrance of the thousands killed in the alleged genocide perpetrated by the NSCN-IM in the 1990s.
The Kuki Black Day also sought ‘justice’ for the more than the thousands killed, lakhs of people displaced and hundreds of villages displanced in the alleged ethnic pogrom.
It was back on this day in 1993 that NSCN-IM cadres allegedly killed more than 115 innocent Kuki civilians including women and children at Joupi. The horrendous pogrom that lasted for five years saw more than 350 villages burnt and thousands of Kuki people including women and children killed while lakhs of the Kukis were displaced.
Black flags were seen hoisted in all the households of the Kukis and along all the streets including the National Highway at Kangpokpi DHQs to mark the day while people were also seen donned in black clothes.
Two giant black banners sketched with the words 13th September Kuki Black Day were also seen put up alongside National Highway 2 at Kangpokpi bazar and IT Road junction in the district headquarters.
However, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, no particular gathering to observe the Black Day was organized but people gathered in their respective Churches in the morning to mourn and offer prayers for the victims and their families, relatives and near and dear ones while seeking justice following strict COVID-19 protocols.
Condolence and candle light service was also held to pay tribute to the departed souls.
A prayer session was also held under the aegis of Kangpokpi Town Committee at its office which was participated by leaders of Kangpokpi Women Welfare Organization, Kangpokpi Youth Union, members of the town committee and leaders of Kangpokpi Town Churches Fellowship. At Gelnel village in Kangpokpi district, a gun salute was offered to the departed souls followed by beating of a traditional gong while the event was also widely observed at Joupi where a monolith in which the names of the victims killed in the alleged NSCN-IM’s ‘Kuki Genocide’ are written has also been unveiled.
As per instruction of the Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi District, Sahnit Ni (Black Day) was also observed at all the Kuki inhabited areas of the district following strict COVID-19 protocols.
Meanwhile, the Kuki Inpi Manipur termed the alleged mass killing of Kukis by the NSCN-IM in the infamous Kuki genocide of 1992-1997 as ‘arguably one of the bloodiest genocides in the history of modern India’ stating that September 13 is not just a symbolic date for the Kukis, it is a distinctly important date, and it is the darkest day in our history, a day with far reaching ramifications.
13th September 2020 marks the 27th anniversary of the deplorable massacre of our people in Manipur at the hands of the NSCN-IM and their proxy – the Naga Lim Guards and equally deplorable is that due to the apathetic attitude of the State and the Central Governments, justice is elusive till date, for all the victims of the ethnic cleansing campaign, whose only crime was that they were Kukis, said KIM.
Forty eight years after the World said “Never Again” to the horrors of the genocide in response to the Holocaust, the Joupi massacre took place in Tamenglong district, Manipur. Eighty eight innocent Kukis were killed in on this date, said KIM and added that another 20 Kukis, 13 from Gelnel, 4 from Santing and 3 from Nungthut were also killed on the same day, bringing the day’s total head count to 108, it added. A perfect example of the State administration’s helplessness and paralysis was the September 13 massacre of the Kukis. The Central and the State Governments then were equally culpable, for their utter failure to protect the lives and the security of the Kukis. The failure on the part of successive Central and State Governments to deliver justice to the victims makes them equally responsible for the same, it added.
KIM also said that the NSCN–IM led Kuki genocide was in complete contravention of the preamble to the Constitution, Article 21- Right to Life and personal liberty (a fundamental right ) and Article 31 Right to property (a Constitutional right), along with the Article 38, Article 39A, Article 142, enshrined in the Constitution of India.
The failure on the part of the Union Government to recognize the Kuki genocide is in complete violation of the UNO Convention on the prevention and punishment for crimes of genocide, which it had signed on the 29th of November, 1949. The injudicious approach and attitude of the Indian Government towards the killings of thousands of Kukis in the infamous Kuki genocide of 1992-1997, is clearly reflected in the fact that more than two decades have passed since, but no one has ever been charged or indicted for this sordid crime against humanity, further sid KIM.
It is clear that the Kuki genocide was not initiated and put an end to in one single day. It is very much alive as far as both the Governments at the Centre and the State refuse to acknowledge it, and continue its policy of utter denial. “We are convinced that the denial of a crime constitutes the direct continuation of that very crime. Only recognition and condemnation can prevent repetition of such crimes in the future. The lackadaisical attitude adopted by the Central Government raises one very relevant question – Are the Kukis expendable ?,” questioned KIM.
KIM further said that on the 27th anniversary of Kuki Black Day, “the Kukis, renew our pledge today that - we will continue to solemnly observe Sahnit Ni / Kuki Black Day –Remembrance Day, as we have been doing for the preceding years. We will continue to pay our respects and tributes to the victims, both dead and living, and salute the unbreakable spirit of our people to which we owe the survival and the renewal of our community/of our Nation.”