COCOMI has alleged that Kuki Militants armed with sophisticated weapons including AK47, Hand Grenade and Sniper Rifles have been repeatedly attacking the Meetei people in the remote villages particularly inhibited by Meetei community.
Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has released a report titled “Chin-Kuki Narco Terrorist Aggression” on Monday.
In the report, COCOMI stated that the recent “unfortunate and unanticipated” ethnic violence that erupted suddenly in Churachandpur District on May 3, just after the public rally organized by All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) and which later spread to almost all the hill districts of Manipur dominated by Kuki Communities and and later retaliated by the valley areas including Imphal which are dominated by the Meetei Community, is considered as one of the “darkest periods in the history of Manipur and its predominant Meetei Civilization”.
COCOMI said that Meetei community has been known for its “tolerant and humane character” and had been taking the role of “guardianship in the entire process of the Manipuri civilization since prehistoric times till today”. However, the recent impasses have definitely tarnished the iconic character of Meetei Community as a society, said COCOMI.
“However, in our best capacity as the apex body of all the major Civil Society Organizations of Manipur we have given our best of efforts to defuse the ongoing tensions between the Mob Affected victims on both side of the community. To mention some of the symbolic steps we have taken, it is we COCOMI who have initiated our first step to make the people stranded in various security camps in Imphal and Churachandpur to evacuate and make them return to their families. Since that symbolic gesture the entire people of the state has returned to their sense of normalcy and defused the tensions and anxieties which existed in the heart and mind of the general public. After that initiative, in the next following days almost all of the people which got stranded in various locations have been completely evacuated to their safer places and its almost completed now. We thank the Assam Rifles and Indian Army also the RAPF and state police for all the cooperation they have extended to the general public and COCOMI to help ease the tensions”.
Till the time the process of evacuation is initiated, there had been no reports of any incident where the Meetei and Kuki people or volunteers got engaged in any form of violent confrontations. However, there were several reports from various local villagers that certain armed miscreants confirmed to be from Kuki Militants groups who are under Suspension of Operations (SoO) with the Government of India and Manipur Government “often came down to the foothills area and keep attacking the local civilian villages of Meetei Community and the same have been reported in various media reports”.
“As the incidents which took places in various periphery villages happened, we often report it to various concern police officials, Assam Rifles, head of Security in-charge and even to the Governor of Manipur for timely interventions. We and also the villagers themselves have also urged the state government and police stations for providing necessary security deployments to all the vulnerable areas in both Meetei and Kuki Villages”, said COCOMI. However, there have been no such reports of deployment of adequate securities till today despite the huge number of the deployment of Paramilitary forces in the state since the beginning of the ethnic violence, added the committee.
The unexpected and unpleasant mob violence on May 3 is being condemned by the global community in the strongest terms as it has completely destroyed the centuries long bonding and relationships between the two communities secured. In the aftermath of the riot, COCOMI has entered Torbung and Kangvai area in Churachandpur where the riot originated and rescued many innocent people numbering around 500 people including women, children and aged persons, said COCOMI.
Apart form rescuing people, COCOMI facilitated the return of stranded people both from Imphal and Churachandpur to their respective homes and families. Because of the symbolic initiative by COCOMI, there was a slight improvement in law-and-order situation and violence almost ceased, COCOMI has been communicating with Kuki Civil Society leaders and working collectively to reduce the tension on both sides. The Collective effort yielded results and there is no further report of any ethnic violence in Imphal and Churachandpur since the past few days.
However, COCOMI has alleged that Kuki Militants armed with sophisticated weapons including AK47, Hand Grenade and Sniper Rifles have been repeatedly attacking the Meetei people in the remote villages particularly inhibited by Meetei community.
Apart from apprising the matter to Assam Rifles, Indian Army and Government authority including the Governor, COCOMI had made it clear that the continuous attacks on the valley Meetei by Kuki Militants who are in SoO agreements with the Central Govt. and State Govt. It would not only hamper peace process but also hinder all efforts to end the violence and restore peace.
In the latest evident incident on Wednesday May 10, some Kuki Militants suspected to be Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) came down from the nearby hills to target Pukhao Terapur Village area in Imphal East (A small Meetei community village neighboring Saikul District, a Kuki Dominated area). However, an encounter occurred between the militants and Assam Rifles posted in Dolaithabi area and one AR Soldier suffered bullet injury and later succumbed to injuries.
In another evidential incident on Thursday a group of Kuki Militants attacked Manipur Police Commando when the militants attempted to target innocent Meetei villgers at Tera Khongshangbi areas sustaining bullet injuries of 4 personnel and leaving one personnel death at Tera Khongshangbi of Tronglaobi Area of Bishnupur District bordering Churachandpur District. No retaliatory action was taken up to boost the morale of the Police as well as the local villagers. Which is considered by the general public as clear example of the Kuki Militants acting against the Ground Rules of SoO by even attacking the state and central forces.
Expressing deep concern over the governments both in the State and the Centre to take any visible actions against the Kuki militants who are openly targeting the civilians and not even sparing the security personnel, it is suspicious, if the Government of India is indirectly supporting the Kuki Militants in its internal policy to wage war against innocent people of Manipur in view of the govt’s inability to take up necessary actions. Which has indirectly led to the increase in the fear psychosis of the general public and start acting and taking up steps for own self-defense guarding their respective villages.
In view of the emerging situation, it has been made very clear that the entire episode of May 3 was indeed not. A communal clash between Meetei and Kuki but a policy of ethnic cleansing to Meetei Community from the Kuki dominated hill areas of Manipur like Churachandpur, Tengnoupal, Moreh, Kangpokpi and Saikul areas carried out by Kuki Militants in collusion with some vested interest people may be political leaders and separatist Kuki Leaders, said COCOMI.
The Rally organized by ATSUM (All Tribal Students’ Union) which resulted in the communal tension was of Tribal Solidarity and a mark of protest against the demand for Scheduled Tribe by some Meetei groups which the High Court has issued a directive for sending recommendation to the central govt. However, after the tensions got defused and evacuation process completed by 8 May 2023 there were several baseless and unverified media reports across national, local and social media forums from the side of Kuki narratives that tried its best to play a victim card fixing all blames to the Meetei community and Kuki as minority tribal trying to justify as if it was an act of aggression by Meetei Community as a whole. However, in reality it is now evident that it is the Armed Kuki Militants who have been continuously attacking the innocent Meetei villagers. It is visible in all Kuki Villages and neighboring tribal villages along the foothills of Manipur Valley area that movement and grouping of heavily armed Kuki Militants are camping and attacking, yet the Assam Rifles, India Army and State Police forces are not doing enough to control them, stated COCOMI.
COCOMI said that in this critical situation where Armed Kuki militants are directly involved in the recent communal mob since day one, and the impositions of blockades to the national highways and grouping of Kuki MLAs colluding with Kuki Armed Miscreants for demanding of separate Kuki Administration separating from the state of Manipur which happens on the 12 May 2023 is the reason behind all the chaos and violence which took place earlier.
“On behalf of the People of Manipur and all the innocent civilians who fall victims to the recent communal mod instigated by such people it is indeed necessary for the government to act and intervene to deliver justice to all the people of Manipur by investigating and prompting immediate action against all the people, group and leaders involve in instigating such a disastrous action to bifurcate the state of Manipur”, said COCOMI.
The committee also gave a sequence of events where every act and decisions by the “Kuki groups of Militants, Drug Cartel, Legislature, influx illegal immigrants and Indian citizen Kuki who are harbouring and sheltering illegal immigrants”.
- Forest Dept. attempt to survey and identify illegal encroachers in Reserve Forest area of T. Sonjang village Churachandpur.
- KSO and ITLF mobilize mob to oppose eviction drive by the Forest Department.
- Churachandpur people protest against Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for his decision to save Reserve Forest and Protected Forest Areas.
- An Open Gym developed by Churachandpur MLA LM Khaute being torched and destroyed by the volunteers of ITLF and KSO in protest against the eviction drive at Reserve Forest area as the Gym was supposed to be inaugurated by CM himself with the invitation from the local MLA as a mark of celebration for the completion of his one-year term as an MLA.
- Violent confrontation between the state police forces and youths in Churachandpur continued till next 2 days with sustaining injuries in both sides.
- Tension reduced with the withdrawal of Police forces from the sensitive area.
- ATSUM declared for a peace rally called “Tribal Solidarity Rally” on 3rd May 2023 against the demand for Scheduled Tribe status by Meetei community in all the hill districts of Manipur. (ATSUM is a conglomerate of Kuki and Naga Students Union)
- The rally is being permitted by respective DCs knowing that the recent violent clashes between the state forces and local youths on 28 and 29 of April 2023 is very fresh and it is yet to be settled down and the volunteers could get out of control if given another chance to gather in huge number.
- Rally on 3rd May 2023 ended around 1:30 pm for CCpur district at Peace Ground Tuibong, however a huge number of rally participant youths rushed towards the nearest Meetei inhibited village area of Torbung Bangla, Kangvai area which is about 13 Kms away from the rally ground. But the concern SP and police forces never tried to disperse the mob crowd which moved towards the Meetei Village. Following which several Meetei Houses where torched and property destroyed and then the vdos of the attacks by the Kuki miscreants spread to social media like wildfire which later by late evening of the same day the retaliatory mob followed across Imphal by Meetei volunteers spontaneously.
- All houses inside the CCPur district of Meetei villages numbering 1310 families completely torched and displaced from their respective villages now taking refuge shelter in various camps in the neighboring Moirang sub-division of Bishnupur district. All Meetei houses in Moreh areas too attacked by Majority Kuki community and displaced. In the same manner several houses in Imphal area of Kuki community being attacked in retaliation of the above attacks by late evening of 3rd May and almost 80 percent of the Kuki houses inhibited in Imphal areas too displaced and taking refuge in hill districts and several others fly out of the state too.
The following are the sequence of events and incidents on record quoted from various newspapers since the 3rd of May till date:
|SL. NO||DATE OF INCIDENT||DETAILS OF EVENT||PRIME ACTOR/SUSPECTED|
|1.||3rd May 2023||Kuki Millitant Killed Khoirom Meiraba an unarmed civilian on the first day of attacking on civilians and their houses. Burned down Meitei houses at Torbung area adjacent to Churachandpur (13 Km far away from CCpur) spearheaded by armed militants. This is the first incident which ignited the riot. The deceased person got enumerable assault bullet rounds in his body.||Kuki Militant has brought down the whole rally team and started torching the houses of meeteis / Meitei Hindus at Torbung, CCpur. More than one thousand three hundred Tulsi Mandir / sanamahi Mandir attached to the Houses were turned to ashes on this first day of violence lead by KUKI militant in Torbung Bangla, Kangvai of Churachandpur Dist.|
|2.||3rd May, 2023
|Around 7 pm kuki militant around 200 /300 strength came down to Motbung Meitei hindu leikai, charhajar (Kangpokpi District) and burnt down all houses along with Tulsi Bhagvan Mandir ( more than 50 houses).||KUKI Millitant.
|3.||4 May 2023||16 Forest Offices torched in Kuki inhabited areas, out of this, 7 forest offices were burnt down by Kuki Militants.
All India Radio of CCpur was forced to shut down by Kuki Militants and volunteers.
|Mob with Kuki Militants|
|7 May 2023
|Two Civilian namely Atom Samarendra Singh and Yumkhaibam Kirankumar Singh were abducted along with their KWID Renault car (MN-06LX -0036) from Sangaithel Olympic Park area of Imphal West Dist.
|Abducted by Kuki Millitant and their dead bodies have never found till date.|
|3.||9 May 2023||Shot dead one personal of 18 AR at Dolaithabi ( Utonglok)||KUKI Millitant|
|4.||10th May 2023||One state Police Commando was shot dead in ambush at Tronglaobi (Bishnupur District)||KUKI Millitant|
|5.||12 May 2023||Two 9 AR personal injured while encountering Kuki militant at Saiton Nganukon . They are Havildar Sanjay and sepoy Achuk||KUKI Millitant|
|16th May 2023
19th May 2023
|The bullet injured personal of 18 AR on the encounter dated 10 th May died due to the previous injury.
IEDs were Planted at Saiton Nganukon (CCpur District) which was later defused by Security forces.
KUKI SoO Millitant
|8.||21st May, 2023||An Ex-Pradhan was shot by kuki militant at Kadangband (Imphal West). Burnt down Torbung Vetenary Hospital (Bishnupur District). Burnt down a Civilian Workshop at Ngangkha Lawai (Bishnupur). Three Civilian villagers was shot at Moidangpok (Imphal West) by Kuki militant||KUKI Millitant.|
|9.||22nd May 2023||Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association Building of Lamdan Churachandpur was fitted with powerful bomb and blasted to ashes midnight.||By Armed militant of SoO Kuki militant.|
|Frequent encounters and firing to civilians with Assault rifles like AK 47 is still going on at Saiton, Dolaithabi, Keithelmanbi and several other places.||By fully combat dressed Kuki Armed Militants.|
|10.||24 May 2023||One dead and 3 Meetei villagers injured in the attack by Kuki Militants at Thamnapokpi area of Bishnupur District at around 9:30 in the morning.||Combat dressed Kuki Militants.|
|11.||25 May 2023||One iron bridge destroyed connecting Wainem Village and Aimol Tuithang Village at Kangpokpi district by unknown miscreants.||Suspected to be Kuki Militants|
|12.||26 May 2023||About 30 Houses torched down to ashes at Phoubakchao Ekhai Awangleikai area of Bishnupur District border district of Churachandpur district.||Armed Kuki Militants.|
|13.||27 May 2023||Fled Meetei Villagers shot at by Kuki Militants at Tronglaobi area of Bishnupur District One Dead, Two injured.||Armed Kuki Militants|
|14.||28 May 2023|