Manipur student body imposes prohibition of trade with Kuki-Zo community - Hindustan Times
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Manipur student body imposes prohibition of trade with Kuki-Zo community

Jun 22, 2024 08:06 PM IST

Meanwhile, over 100 bullet gas tankers and petroleum tankers that had been stranded at Jiribam started leaving for Imphal on Friday evening

The Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA) in Manipur has imposed a prohibition on all forms of economic interactions and transactions with the Kuki-Zo community and urged the Kuki to refrain from hampering vehicular movements along National Highway (NH)-2.

Assam Rifles and Manipur Police personnel recover arms, ammunition, explosives and other items at Charoibung in Imphal West district of Manipur on June 19. (PTI)
Assam Rifles and Manipur Police personnel recover arms, ammunition, explosives and other items at Charoibung in Imphal West district of Manipur on June 19. (PTI)

The students’ body of Manipur in a statement issued on Friday said, “In pursuance of the press statement on June 3, urgently appealing for all concerned parties to refrain from unnecessarily hampering vehicular movements along National Highway 2 (NH-2) and to maintain the highway as a safe zone, free from any form of harassment.” The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) has, however, completely ignored their statement and plea.

“Despite our hospitality, patience, understanding, and neutrality in this ongoing conflict, the Kuki miscreants have had the audacity to set a truck on fire within our land and jurisdiction on the night of 19/06/2024, just below Tumuyon Khullen. We strongly condemn this act of arson, which is a direct challenge to our authority and also a grave threat to the safety and well-being of all communities. We demand that the culprits be booked and given befitting punishments as per the law, at the earliest,” it added.

“It is imperative to take immediate and stringent actions to prevent any further escalations and to safeguard the interests of all communities, as per the resolution adopted at the 2nd Federal Assembly, held at Nteiramphung (Tumnoupokpi) on June 1,” it added.

“Any and all eventualities that befall the Kuki-Zo community dwelling and living within Senapati will not hold SDSA responsible or accountable. The responsibility for any adverse outcome rests solely with CoTU and their subordinates,” it said.

“Effective immediately, no goods or commodities shall be permitted to be supplied to the Kuki-Zo areas from Senapati or any other sources within our jurisdiction. This embargo is a necessary measure to respond to the unwarranted aggression and to protect the interests of our community,” it said.

“Individuals, businesses, or firms within Senapati are hereby strictly prohibited from engaging in any commercial transactions, business dealings, or trade with the Kuki-Zo community. This prohibition extends to all forms of economic interactions and transactions,” it said.

“Any person or entity found violating this order shall bear the full consequences of their actions. We will not be held responsible for any harm, loss, or misfortune that befalls those who disregard this directive. The responsibility for their safety and the repercussions of their actions will rest entirely on them,” it added.

“The student body said the order was issued in the interest of maintaining peace, order, and the safety of all communities. “We urge all parties to comply strictly with this directive and to act responsibly and considerately to avoid further conflict,” it said.

The indefinite economic blockade imposed by Kuki CSOs along NH-37 (Imphal-Silchar via Jiribam) has been lifted on Friday after signing a memorandum of understanding between Kuki CSOs and the Tamenglong superintendent of police, Assam Rifles, and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

The Rongmei Naga Council Manipur (RNCM) also met CSOs of Kuki and Meitei at Tamenglong and Jiribam on Friday. The Naga body cautioned that no group should impose any form of bandh, blockade, or other disruptions along NH-37.

RNCM said NH-37 is for all communities and no commuter should be disturbed along the highway. It also warned that if any commuters are harassed, those involved in the crime should take responsibility.

Over 100 bullet gas tankers and petroleum tankers that had been stranded at Jiribam started leaving for Imphal on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) in a statement issued on Saturday condemned the torching of Bharat Infra Project Limited (BIPL) trucks carrying bridge construction material at Tronglaobi village, Bishnupur district, Manipur, by an irate mob on June 15.

It also said, “Since July 2023, the Kuki-Zo people have refrained from any form of blockade on national highways as appealed and assured by the Ministry of Home Affairs for a peaceful settlement to the political demand of the Kuki-Zo. Though the Kuki-Zo people in the northern and western parts of the state allow free passage, Meitei groups from the valley districts continue to impede the movement of necessary goods intended for hill districts like Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Tengnoupal, Chandel, etc.”

“The government of India must intervene promptly to ensure the uninterrupted flow of essential commodities to the hill districts before the situation deteriorates further.”

It warned that if Meitei groups and the chief minister N Biren Singh-led government persist in their unfair treatment of the Kuki-Zo people by withholding basic requirements, the Kuki-Zo people might reconsider their stance on the economic blockade.

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