Imphal: The attack by the Kuki against the Meitei is conducted as the Kuki think that the Meitei might interfere in their geopolitics, said Pambei-led UNLF leader M. Nongyai on Thursday.

Nongyai was speaking during the 1st ‘Khamenlok Incident Ningshing Thouram’ held at the community hall of Nongshum, Imphal East.

The programme was organized by Eramdam Kanba Lup (EKAL).

The insurgent leader said the Kuki attacked the Meitei neither because of the government’s poppy destruction drive, evicting illegal encroachers from protected and reserved forests, nor because of the demand for the inclusion of the Meitei as a scheduled tribe, but because the Kuki have an apprehension that the Meitei might interfere in their geopolitics, the insurgent leader said.

On June 13 last year, 10 people from different villages in the valley districts were killed by suspected Kuki militants.

Nongyai said before the signing of the peace agreement of the outfit with the state and central governments, the outfit had been functioning from far-flung places in the hills where Hmar, Paite, and Thadou, who are sub-tribes of the Kuki, inhabited in large numbers.

During that time, the Kuki did not have the idea of engaging in geopolitics. But with a far-sighted vision for the benefit of the Kuki community, they waged war against the Meitei as they have an apprehension that the Meitei community might interfere, he added.

The central government assured the Kuki leaders that their demands would be fulfilled if they supported the recent Manipur legislative Assembly election to secure a win. Because of the assurance, Narendra Modi has remained a silent spectator since the violence erupted, he alleged.

Amit Shah did not return to Manipur despite assuring that he would come back within a few days to bring a solution during the initial months, said Nongyai.

“We will not retreat until the territorial integrity and boundary of Manipur are safeguarded,” Nongyai asserted.

Opining on the present crisis, social activist RK Sanayaima alias Meghen, former chairman of the UNLF, said it is not merely a strategy of the Kuki but a well-organized strategy of the Indian government’s geopolitics.

Despite tight security by the Assam Rifles along the border area, the illegal Kuki immigrant population has been increasing, and this matter needs to be discussed. Adding to that, Meghen said the Kuki did not know they could wage war against the Meitei while Meitei insurgents were decreasing in power. This information was shared with the Kuki leaders by the Indian government, he said.

A collective effort is needed to end the ongoing crisis, he added.

Victim family members of the Khamenlok incident, CSOs, and others took part in the observation and also paid floral tributes on the portraits of the departed soul.

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