IMPHAL, Oct 19: “Justice has to be delivered to the Kukis before any settlement is arrived at between the NSCN-IM and the government of India,” asserted Thangkhosei Haokip, the newly re-elected president of Kuki Inpi, Manipur (KIM), the apex traditional institution of the Kukis in the state. He then predicted that further denying justice to the Kukis is bound to compel the apex Kuki traditional body to review its three principles. KIM’s three principles (Thangkhosei Haokip terms them as ‘three pillars’ of the KIM) are non-communal, peaceful co-existence and justice for all.
Talking to Newmai News Network this morning, the KIM chief rues that the government of India has been ignoring the numerous pleas and prayers of the Kuki body for delivering justice to the victims of 1990s ethnic cauldron where more than 900 ‘innocent Kukis were slaughtered’ by the NSCN-IM cadres and their collaborators. “We have submitted more than 60 memoranda to the government of India for the justice to be delivered to the victims but till date we are yet to see any forward action from the government,” further lamented Thangkhosei Haokip while adding, “If the government continues with its adamant attitude we may revew our stance.”
When queried what he meant by ‘review of stance’, Thangkhosei Haokip elucidated that at some point of time in future ‘certain political assertion’ from the apex Kuki traditional institution is possible ‘if the government continues to ignore our pleas.’ The KIM chief narrated that around 360 villages were deserted and a hefty one lakh Kukis were displaced in the 1990s ‘ethnic cleansing’ by the NSCN-IM. “It was never a conflict between the Nagas and the Kukis but the ethnic cleansing carried out by the NSCN-IM. Kukis have no problem with the Nagas.
The Kukis somehow retaliated when the NSCN-IM agenda was carried out. No authorities of the Kuki community ever had any meeting chalking out strategies to attack the Nagas. If the Kukis had attacked the Nagas it was in their individual capacity but never the programmes of the Kukis as a whole,” clarified Thangkhosei Haokip. He then drives home his point for a demand from the government to address the ethnic cleansing victims saying, “Our demand is based on the logic that if the government of India considers the Kukis as its citizens it should address the victims’ problems for it had failed to protect them when the NSCN-IM was working on its evil design against the Kukis in the 1990s.”
The Kuki Inpi, Manipur president then wondered and suspected whether it was the government of India that had instigated the NSCN-IM to take on the Kukis. “I said this because if this was not the case then why the government of India refuses to deliver justice to the Kuki victims for this long,” reasons Thangkhosei Haokip. While saying this, the Kuki leader made his stance clear saying the Kukis do not oppose the Nagas but “we are hostile to the NSCN-IM policy.” Thangkhosei Haokip then ridicules the Isak-Muivah led outfit’s policy saying,
“The NSCN-IM’s campaign to achieve its goal has reached at the global level but if this policy is to slaughter the Kukis then what a pity for them—a petty agenda.”Touching on other fronts, Mr Haokip said the Kuki Inpi, Manipur has never asserted a kind of Kuki homeland or any other of that sort. “We are a traditional institution which was revived ( and not floated or established) in 1993 after a long gap. If various Kuki groups are striving for this and for that, KIM never meddles in their affairs,” stated Thangkhosei Haokip.
On the problems being faced by the people in Manipur, the Kuki leader suggested that instead of rushing to New Delhi the conflicting parties can sit down, putting their heads together and sorted out the ails. “Here in our state we have the habit of rushing to New Delhi to get solved our problems. To my mind, this trend is not quite encouraging,” said Thangkhosei Haokip. He further suggested that civil society organisations of the conflicting communities should sit down across the table and look for a solution rather than looking up to Delhi for a miracle. The Hornbill Express, Senapati