Manipur govt bans tribal outfit speaking about 'possible war', arms procurement

IANS File Photo

IANS File Photo

Imphal, October 31 (IANS): Soon after the killing of a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) by suspected militants, the Manipur government on Tuesday banned the World Kuki-Zo Intellectual Council (WKZIC), as an unlawful association/organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Police said that the suspected militants on Tuesday gunned down SDPO Chingtham Anand Kumar at Moreh in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district bordering Myanmar.

The suspected extremists attacked a police team when they were supervising the proposed construction site of a helipad at the Eastern Shine School ground at Moreh, injuring the SDPO, who was immediately taken to a primary health centre, where he succumbed to his bullet wounds.

Immediately after the incident, an urgent meeting of the cabinet, chaired by the Chief Minister, was held.

An official statement after the meeting said that the cabinet noted that the WKZIC had issued a press release on October 24 calling upon the Kuki-Zo community that during this November, before the harvesting season, the community would face another war, and arms and ammunition should therefore be in sufficient stock.

"It further informed that the youth volunteers would be the ones going to face the war on the frontlines, and that its national army/UG (Underground Groups) would join the youth volunteers only in critical situations, citing that this would be because Kuki National Army/UG groups would not be able to join the war freely in view of SOO agreement. It further informed that its national volunteers shall be equipped with the best arms and if required, ammunition will be supplied without limit," the statement said quoting the WKZIC press release.

An FIR has already been lodged against the organisation on Monday.

"In view of Tuesday’s incident leading to the killing of a senior police officer, the Cabinet therefore approved the recommendation for declaration of the WKZIC as an unlawful association/organization under section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967," the statement said.