Kuki Homeland Demand ; KSDC announces indefinite public blockade from Nov 15

Published on November 12, 2012

Imphal, Nov. 12: Reiterating its demand ‘for a separate Kuki state to be carved out of Kuki traditional lands incorporated within the present day Manipur’, Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) has announced its decision of launching an indefinite public blockade along all National and State Highways passing through Kuki-inhabited areas with effect from 5 pm of November 15.

Addressing a press conference in this connection at Manipur Press Club here today, General Secretary of KSDC Benjamin Mate categorically stated that the public blockade would continue until the Government of India gives a written assurance on beginning a political dialogue with the Kuki people represented by KSDC and Kuki Militant organizations presently under SoO agreement on a pre-determined date to deliberate on Kuki political demand for a separate state.

Stating that Kuki people have earlier expressed their compulsions and desires to have their traditional territories within the present day Manipur constituted as a separate state under the Union of India, Benjamin Mate asserted that the majority Meetei community has been opposing to the demand and the majoritarian State Government neglecting the issue for the last six decades.

Benjamin made it clear that “neither with the spirit of vengeance nor with ill-will towards neighbouring communities including the Meeteis and the Nagas, but in the true spirit of decentralized governance and in rightful democratic aspiration for self governance, the Kuki people under the KSDC along with Kuki Militant organizations presently under SoO agreement with the Government of India shall launch a mass movement beginning from 5pm of November 15 till the demand for a separate Kuki State is fulfilled.

The civil mass protest shall be carried out along with imposing public blockade on all the National and State Highways passing through Kuki-inhibited areas. So, the public blockade would also cover Imphal-Ukhrul road, Imphal-Tamenglong road, Imphal-Moreh road, Imphal-Senapati road and Imphal-Churachandpur road, he added.

Furthermore, Benjamin informed that the Kuki people led by KSDC will also launch a ‘Quit Kuki Lands’ movement against India if timely heed is not paid to the democratic demands of the Kuki people. Replying to a query, Benjamin Mate said that the proposed Kuki state includes areas in Chandel, Sadar Hills, Churanchandpur, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati district. The demands of all Kuki Militant organizations are same, he added. Henjang Haokip, Chairman of KSDC and Sonhokhothang, Vice President of KSDC was also present during the press conference.

Meanwhile, in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh today, KSDC illustrated ‘political exclusivity between Kukis and Meiteis’ by how the Khongjom War was launched against the British ‘exclusively’ by the Meiteis and the ‘Kuki Rising (of) 1917-1919 was fought exclusively by the Kukis’.

It recalled alleged repeated exploitation and suppression of the Kukis after the Merger of Manipur in the Union of India and their ‘optimistic expectations of equitable development’ has been ‘proven wrong’ in the last 60 years. As a result Kukis remained the ‘most backward’ community in Manipur as compared to other communities.

In view of the current talk with the NSCN (I-M), the plan of India ‘to cede certain demand of NSCN (IM)’, ‘for instance, the Nagas’ claim 5 of the 6 hill districts of Manipur’, ‘a larger chunk of the hill areas in present day Manipur forms the traditional territories of Kuki people, and we still inhabit these areas’, the memorandum stated.

Source: Hueiyen Lanpao

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