In Strife-torn Manipur two bodies of Kuki-Zo community recovered

In Strife-torn Manipur two bodies of Kuki-Zo community recovered

Imphal: Bodies of two out of four ‘abducted’ family members of a soldier of the Indian Army, belonging to the Kuki-Zo community in Manipur, have been recovered by security forces.

The four family members of the Indian Army soldier, belonging to the Kuki-Zo community in Manipur, were allegedly abducted by a Meitei mob from a security check post in Kangpokpi district on November 07.

They were heading towards L Phaijang village in Kangpokpi district of Manipur to attend a wedding.

The abduction of the four people led to firing incidents and fresh protests in Manipur.

Manipur police inspector general (IG) Themthing Ngasangva told Scroll said that two bodies, one woman and a man, were found on Tuesday (November 07) evening.

Meanwhile, two others remain missing.

The fifth member of the group, the 65-year-old father of the Indian Army soldier, was rescued by security forces and was seriously injured.

“The woman had a bullet injury on her head,” Sanjoy Meitei, the officer-in-charge (OC) of Lamsang police station told Scroll.

He added: “The woman is suspected to be a Kuki. The body is at the RIMS hospital mortuary in Imphal. We have registered a case on charges of murder.”

The second body – of a Kuki man – was found at Takhok Mapal Makha Puruksoubi Loukon Palli area in Imphal East district of Manipur.

“The body has three bullet injuries marked in his chest and one in his head,” Inspector Poujeanlung Panmei, OC of Irilbung police station, told Scroll.

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has accused the Biren Singh-led BJP government in Manipur of “trying to eliminate the minority tribal population” in the state.

This was alleged by the ITLF, a tribal body in Manipur, on Tuesday (November 07) in a statement.

Accusing the central government of inaction in regards to its failure to bring peace and normalcy in Manipur, the ITLF said: “When the majority community that controls the state government is trying to eliminate the minority tribal population, it is the duty of the central government to safeguard the rights and lives of the true victims of this conflict.”

It further reiterated its demand for a “separate administration” for the tribal population of Manipur.

“We need a separate administration to live apart from those who want our destruction,” said ITLF.

It added: “The trust we have placed in the central government is waning day by day.”

The ITLF further alleged that union home minister Amit Shah ‘disregarded’ its request of “removal of Meitei state forces in all hill districts” in Manipur.

“When ITLF met home minister Amit Shah in Delhi, we demanded the removal of Meitei state forces in all hill districts.

The minister disregarded our request but promised that he would not allow state forces to be deployed independently and they would only act ‘in conjunction’ with central forces in hill areas,” the ITLF said.

The tribal body added: “Recent events have shown that this is not being followed in letter or spirit.”

While condemning the killing of Moreh SDPO by militants recently, the ITLF said that the killing of the cop “is being used as an excuse to terrorize Kuki-Zo civilians living in Moreh town and other villages in Tengnoupal district” in Manipur.

“Meitei commandos are being given a free hand to assault civilians and burn down houses. Vehicles are set ablaze and money looted from homes,” the ITLF alleged.

It also questioned: “What are the central forces doing?”

“In a conflict between Meiteis and tribals, why are Meitei forces allowed to conduct operations among tribals? What is preventing the central government from deploying neutral central forces among the tribal population?” the tribal body further asked.

The ITLF also accused the “militant Meitei groups like Arambai Tenggol” of “attacking Kuki-Zo tribals”.

“They (cadres of Arambai Tenggol) are openly brandishing sophisticated weapons looted from state armouries and urging their cadres to attack Kuki-Zo tribals,” said ITLF.

It added: “No action has been taken against them by security forces or investigating agencies like the CBI and NIA.”

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