Manipur tribal body to set up ‘self-government’ soon to govern tribal inhabited areas

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Imphal, November 15 (IANS): The Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), an apex body of tribals in Manipur, on Wednesday after a massive rally announced to set up a ‘self-government’ soon to govern the tribal inhabited areas of the northeastern state.

The ITLF Secretary Muan Tombing said that over six months have passed after the ethnic violence continued in Manipur and nothing has been done to their demand of ‘separate administration’ (equivalent to separate state) for the tribals.

“As our voice is not heard, just within a couple of weeks we would set up our self-government, whether the Centre recognises it or not, we would go ahead. Our proposed ‘self-government’ would look into all matters in the Kuki-Zo tribal areas,” Tombing told the media in Churachandpur.

The ITLF leader said that 10 tribal MLAs including seven BJP legislators, various civil society groups and all other tribal based organisations have been demanding total separation from Manipur.

Thousands of people including women and youths on Wednesday organised a massive rally in Churachandpur district, one of the tribal inhabited districts and worst hit areas of the ethnic riot.

Senior ITLF leader and spokesman Ginza Vualzong said that while the Manipur government is dominated and run by the Meitei leaders led by Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, the Central agencies including the NIA and CBI have not taken up brutal cases relating to Koki-Zomi tribals.

Highlighting 20 serious brutal cases, Vualzong said that the NIA and the CBI considered selective cases to probe the accusations.

“The Wednesday’s rally was held to protest the barbaric ways in which innocent Kuki-Zo civilians are murdered by mobs and the cherry-picking of cases by Manipur police and central investigating agencies like the CBI and NIA to appease the majority Meitei community at the expense of minority tribals,” the ITLF spokesman said.

The ITLF after the mega rally sent a memorandum to Home Minister Amit Shah through Churachandpur Deputy Commissioner Dharun Kumar demanding immediate resolution of the Manipur crisis and resolving their demands.

“We urge to handle the ongoing ethnic strife between the two communities with equity, unprejudiced and equivalently and recommend the CBI to probe into the matters highlighted by the ITLF and appeal you to unequivocally delve into the plight and woes of the Kuki-Zo tribal populace correspondingly,” the ITLF memorandum said.

The Kuki Women Organisation for Human Rights expressed deep concern over the alleged atrocities of Manipur police commandos upon innocent civilians in Manipur’s border town Moreh.

KWOHR President, Ngaineikim Haokip said that the organisation is deeply disturbed by the relentless torture of seven arrested civilians from Moreh by the Meitei police commandos.