In memo to Amit Shah, Manipur MLAs demand separate authority for Kuki areas

In the wake of violent clashes between two ethnic communities — the Meiteis and tribals — that claimed more than 71 lives in Manipur, a group of 10 Kuki MLAs have handed over a memorandum to Union Home Minister Amit Shah asking for a separate administration for the Kuki-dominated districts.

They said that the community has lost faith in the Manipur government led by Chief Minister N Biren Singh and can no longer imagine “resettling in the Imphal valley” where their lives are not safe anymore.

The group of legislators, including eight from the BJP, told Shah that the only practical way forward is setting up a separate administration for Kuki-inhabited hills.

In the three-page memorandum to Shah, the MLAs have stated how the recent institutionalised ethnic cleansing and atrocities committed by the majority Meitei community against the ethnic Kuki-Chin-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar minority group has left everyone in fear.

Pointing out in the memorandum that it is a ground reality now that the state is partitioned, the MLAs have stated: “Huge population transfers between the Valley and the hills inhabited by the Kuki-Chin-Mizo-Zomi-Hmar had occurred. There are no tribals left in the Imphal Valley. There are no Meiteis left in the hills. The Government of Manipur and its police machinery were communalised and used in the pogrom against the Kuki tribals.”

Earlier, on Monday, the Manipur chief minister rejected the MLAs’ demand for a separate administration, stating “the territorial integrity of the state will be protected”.

Ethnic violence erupted in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was held in the hill districts on May 3 in protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Currently, the tribal groups including the Chin, Kuki, Zomi, Mizo, Hmar and Nagas enjoy ST status in the state.

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