An observation of the present unrest in Manipur
RK Somorjit Singh
Contd from previous issue
in the Scheduled Tribe list of Indian Union.
Many Kuki millitants holding sophisticated arms - like AK Rifles and others participated in the rally of Churachandpur which is very much visible in viral videos and local TV News Channels.
In the late afternoon, the participants started attacking the innocent Meetei/Meitei villagers and demolished so many houses after ransacking and burning them down.
Innocent Meitei/Meetei community including female population and children were beaten severely without any reason. So far 16 (sixteen) Forest Offices were set on fire in 3 (three) hill districts, viz - Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts of Manipur intentionally damaging totally the public properties.
One Godown of a “Licensed Arms Dealer” was completely vandalised and looted in Churachandpur, by the rioters. And one of the age old temple of Meitei/Meetei community, the “Kondong Lairembi” (A very sacred Goddess) at Moreh under the Tengnoupal district of Manipur surrounded by the Kuki Community, who were settled illegally in recent years, was set on fire and totally demolished by the Kuki rioters. And one important Hindu Temple of Lord Shiva, popularly known as “Mahadev of Koubru Leikha” located under Kangpokpi district was also vandalized and totally demolished by the Kukis. So far 8 (eight) temples in Churachandpur district were demolished by Kuki rioters. The Meetei/Meitei community people felt threatened and started retaliation against the Kukis. Many houses of Kukis in Imphal City and villages nearby hill sides were also demolished and set fire by Meitei youths in retaliation after the attacks on Meetei/Meitei community by the Kukis.
Some selected Churches which was supposed to be sponsored by the Kukis in the city and villages were also set on fire by the angry mob as a sign of retaliation after the attacks on innocent Meetei/Meiteis by the Kukis. At the same time some innocent Kukis also lost their lives during the retaliation by angry mob after the attacks by Kukis at Churachandpur and other areas. So, due to the multiple incidents of violence in the State, the Central Government imposed Article 355 of the Indian Constitution, in Manipur for security rearrangement to handle the situation. But on the other side many arms were looted from the police stations/out posts by the angry Meetei/Meitei mob in the valley areas and Kukis in the hill areas. And at the same time many innocent Meetei/Meitei people were kidnapped and butchered in the hills after the riots of Churachandpur and its nearby areas.
Even one Manipur Police Commando personnel of Bishnupur district was shot dead and there were injured during an ambush by the Kuki Militants near the hill sides of Tronglaobi at Bishnupur district, Manipur. Not only that 2 (two) Assam Rifles personnel were also severely injured during the ambush by the Kuki Militants at Dolaithabi and Pukhao areas of Imphal East district of Manipur. And one personnel of Assam Rifles is declared dead as of now.
Thus, there is no meaning of suspension of operation (SoS) signed between Government of India and Kuki Militants looking at the recent incidents. Its been also reported that not only Kuki Militants under SoO with Government of India, many Kuki Militants based out of Myanmar are actively involved in this ongoing arson/riot/ambushes.
Though curfew is imposed in the State, the law and order situation in the hill areas of the State seems to be not under proper control. Many houses were still set on fire, in front of the security personnel of the Central Government at Churachandpur district. So far it has been reported officially that 73 (seventy three) lives were lost from both the communities and 5 (five) Meeteis/Meiteis are reported still missing (as on 15th May, 2023).
During the curfew hours, the law and order situation in the valley areas is completely under control for now. Many arms which were taken from the State security outposts in the name of self defence were given back to the security personnel, only by the Meetei/Meiteis as a sign of obedience to the law of the land, whereas it is not so from the side of Kukis in the hill areas. Again a large number of vehicles including passengers and goods trucks are still stranded on the National Highways, unable to reach Imphal.
(To be contd)