Manipur govt lodges FIR against Kuki group leader for ‘self-rule’ comment | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Manipur govt lodges FIR against Kuki group leader on charges of sedition for ‘self-rule’ comment

Nov 18, 2023 07:28 AM IST

The case against Muan Tombing, general secretary of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF), was registered at the Churachandpur police station on Thursday

The Manipur government has lodged an FIR under several charges including sedition against a senior leader of a frontal Kuki organisation for his comments on ‘self-rule’, officials stated on Friday.

Ethnic violence between Meiteis, who are in majority in Imphal Valley, and Kukis, who dominate several hill districts, since May have claimed as many as 178 lives and displaced 50,000 plus persons.
Ethnic violence between Meiteis, who are in majority in Imphal Valley, and Kukis, who dominate several hill districts, since May have claimed as many as 178 lives and displaced 50,000 plus persons.

The case against Muan Tombing, general secretary of Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) was lodged on Thursday at Churachandpur police station in the district with the same name. HT has seen a copy of the FIR.

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The FIR under sections 121A, 124A, 153 and 120B of IPC for offences that include conspiracy for waging war or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war, against Government of India, sedition, wantonly giving provocation with intention to cause riot and criminal conspiracy was filed by N Thangzamuan, officer-in-charge of Churachandpur police station.

On Wednesday, Tombing had told journalists on the sidelines of a mass rally in Churachandpur demanding investigations into “atrocities against Kuki-Zo tribals” that the group would set up a “self-government” in areas dominated by the community if the Centre doesn’t address its demand for a separate administration within two weeks.

“It’s been already six months. But our demand, which is separate administration from Manipur government hasn’t been addressed till date. If the voice we raised in today’s rally is not heard in a couple of weeks, then we will set up our self-government whether the Centre recognizes (it) or not,” ITLF general secretary Muan Tombing told journalists in Churachandpur on Wednesday.

“As in an union territory, we will be setting up a government that will be looking after all the administration in the Kuki-Zo tribe areas. Be it home or medical....all departments will be there. We are trying to set up the (self) government since the voice we have raised hasn’t been heard till today,” he added.

Following the comments, on Thursday, the MLAs of the ruling BJP-led coalition in Manipur had met in Imphal and decided to take “appropriate legal action against ITLF and persons concerned”.

“The recent statement by ITLF has no legal or constitutional basis. The irresponsible stated appears to be motivated and aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law-and-order situation in the state,” a statement on the meeting released by the Manipur information department following the meeting on Thursday read.

"We need to think about our welfare. We need to start our own governing body as our demand for separate administration will take time. Our MLAs cannot work in Imphal for fear of their lives, so are our government officers. We want our 10 MLAs to start working in the hill district headquarters. Our government officers can start working in the hill district for the welfare of the people. We cannot stand still waiting for the government to give us solution. This is what we mean by self governance or self rule," ITLF spokesperson Ginza Vualzong had stated on Friday.

Ethnic violence between Meiteis, who are in majority in Imphal Valley, and Kukis, who dominate several hill districts, since May have claimed as many as 178 lives and displaced 50,000 plus persons.

The violence has forced Meiteis to flee Kuki-majority areas and Kukis escape from the Imphal Valley to areas where people from their community are in majority.

At present there are clear divisions on the ground with Kuki not allowing Meiteis to enter ‘their areas’ and vice versa and since first few weeks of the violence all Kuki groups including 10 MLAs from the community (seven of them from ruling BJP) have been demanding a separate administration in the Kuki-Zo areas.

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