Amidst crisis Kuki-Zo observes 5th remembrance day in Kangpokpi

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Amidst crisis Kuki-Zo observes 5th remembrance day in Kangpokpi

Imphal: In a solemn ceremony on the fifth Remembrance Day, the Koki-Zo community in Kangpokpi District came together to demand a political settlement from the Center, calling for justice and a lasting peace for their people.
The poignant ceremony took place at Brig. M. Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi Town, under the auspices of the Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills (CoTU).
As part of the day’s proceedings, the CoTU imposed a 15-hour complete shutdown across the district, accompanied by a walking casket rally and candlelight vigil, all paying tribute to the Kuki-Zo martyrs.
CoTU General Secretary Lamminlun Singsit gave the welcome and keynote address, while village volunteers led the casket rally. Reverend Lamkeng Lhouvum, chairman of the Kangpokpi District Tribal Churches Forum, dedicated the caskets and altars as offerings in honor of the Koki-Zo people.
The keynote speaker of the event, Reverend Prem Vaiphei, former president of All Manipur Christian Organization and one of the last Kuki-Zos to be evacuated from Imphal, shared his insights with the gathered crowd.
A moment of silence engulfed the thousands as village volunteers buried the coffins, with prominent Kukizo leaders placing garlands on each coffin as a mark of respect and tribute to the Kuki-Zo martyrs.
CoTU Media Cell Coordinator Ng. Lun Kipgen emphasized the importance of the fifth Remembrance Day, which aims to commemorate and honor those who tragically lost their lives amid a massacre of mostly Meiteis ethnic cleansing. miss out
During the five-month massacre, more than 140 innocent Kuki-Zo people were killed, with many women subjected to sexual assaults and public humiliation. More than 200 villages and 360 churches were razed to the ground, leaving 41,000 people homeless.
Kipgan expressed concern that, as a religious minority, the Kuki-Zo community faced subjugation and repression by the Meitei-centric government.
He criticized the arrests of Kuki-zo people, including student leaders and minor girls, by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which he termed as “weakly based”.
He called on the central investigating agencies to deliver impartial justice and immediate release of those arrested in Kuki-Zo, highlighting that these actions are in the interest of the majority Meiteis.
Furthermore, Kipgen stressed that the central government must recognize the fact that coexistence has become untenable and address the political aspirations of the Kuki-Zo community to ensure justice and lasting peace. Active steps should be taken.
He demanded the Center to avoid partisan politics in resolving the Manipur crisis and urged for a neutral approach.
Kipgen suggested that to find a way forward, the Center should consider imposing President’s Rule, review its decision, and extend the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) to the entire state, including 19 police stations which are currently exempted from disturbed areas tag.

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