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Director General of Assam Rifles says we have never faced anything before as we face in Manipur today

PoliticsDirector General of Assam Rifles says we have never faced anything before as we face in Manipur today

The situation has not calmed down since May 3, 2023, and the Kukis, are feeling unsafe because their mostly their people have died and are asking for a separate administration.

Questions are rising as to why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not yet visited Manipur, with over 200 killed since that fateful day in May, some killed in the most gruesome manner.

Starting from May, when numerous clashes erupted in Manipur, the local media primarily highlighted one side of the narrative.  For example, until the viral videos of Kuki girls being raped, ravaged, and murdered appeared in public, wildfire rumors were spreading that Kuki men were raping Meitei girls, in an attempt to inflame Meiteis against Kukis.

Kukis students and volunteers protecting their villages were blatantly called terrorists and poppy producers.  Bad naming them was an attempt to justify the crimes and attacks on them.

While several Kuki Zo villages were ravaged during these conflicts, reports from The Sangai Express and other media outlets seemed to downplay the extent, referring to the destruction as “some Kuki houses.” Conversely, the Meiteis were accused of burning down hundreds of houses belonging to Kukis.

Then, on June 9, a group of militants, disguised in army uniforms, ambushed Khoken, a Kuki village, resulting in the tragic deaths of three villagers, including a 67-year-old woman who was in prayer at the church. Shockingly, Imphal-based media outlet HY News referred to the deceased civilians as “Kuki militants” and even labeled the elderly woman a “Sniper Shooter.”

On June 13, in an area predominantly inhabited by Kukis, Meitei militias, numbering in the thousands, carried out an attack after burning down several Kuki Zo villages, leading to multiple casualties. Elite TV reported this incident as “Suspected Kuki militants gunned down 13 local village volunteers at Khamenlok.” It is essential to note that census data from 2011 indicates that Khamenlok Village comprises a 100% Scheduled Tribe (ST) population. So the question arises: What were these “village volunteers” doing in a Kuki Zo tribal village?

As a goodwill gesture, Kuki Zo volunteers handed over five Meitei civilians to the Jat Regiment. However, the Imphal Times reported this act as “four AR personnel and 20 JAT successfully rescued 5 Meitei civilians who were abducted by Kuki miscreants.”

On July 23, in the Bishnupur-Churachandpur bordering area, The Sangai Express appeared to misreport the incident as “Kuki militants with hundreds of their associates… and set the Children Treasure High School on fire.” In contrast, an impartial report by The Times of India highlighted that the school’s owner was Liankhothang Vaiphei, an individual belonging to the Kuki Zo community.

These instances underscore the importance of impartial and accurate reporting in the midst of complex conflicts.

Rajdeep Sardesai, anchor and journalist tweeted, “For the last 3 days, firing has been gone on between Kuki and Meitei dominated districts in Manipur. 6 people are dead. The violence is now entering month 5. Over 160 people have died. Many more are still homeless. But there is a veil of silence once again almost as if the crisis will blow over by pretending it doesn’t exist. It can’t be business as normal when a part of the country is so deeply scarred and bloodied. Tragic. 🙏”

Answers come steaming back that “The center and state government have not shown keen interest in resolving the issue and stopping the violence in Manipur.  The statements issued of peace in Manipur are false by the BJP govt.  It is a shame for the double-engine govt.” said one netizen.

Shillong, Meghalaya | Lt. General PC Nair, Director General of Assam Rifles says “The situation that we are facing in Manipur is unprecedented. We have never faced anything of this kind.

Unlike in the past, Manipur is currently grappling with an “unprecedented” situation, primarily stemming from ethnic clashes. This situation has arisen due to the substantial arsenal possessed by both communities, placing the state in an unprecedented predicament. Assam Rifles’ Director General, Lieutenant General PC Nair, shared his perspective with ANI, emphasizing the urgent need for the people of the state to recognize that the only viable path forward is one of peace.

Nair stated, “The situation we are confronting in Manipur is unparalleled. We have never encountered anything of this magnitude before. While something similar occurred in the early 90s during clashes between the Nagas and Kukis, and later within the Kuki groups in the late 90s, today’s greatest challenge lies in the significant proliferation of weaponry within both communities. Furthermore, the animosity between these communities has become deeply entrenched and divisive. This destructive cycle must be halted.” He further stressed, “It is imperative that the people come to the realization that the only viable way forward is through embracing peace.”

However, Nair also noted “remarkable” advancements in Manipur over the past decade. “The transformations witnessed in the last ten years have been extraordinary, encompassing improvements in infrastructure, educational institutions, employment opportunities, as well as the development of airports and highways,” he observed. “If someone had posed the question a decade ago about the possibility of events like Femina Miss India, the Durand Cup, or a G20 meeting taking place in Manipur, the response might have been incredulity. But all of these events have become a reality. It is essential to remind the citizens of Manipur of this progress.”

There can be no resolution in this situation when as one netizen tweeted, revealing a video, “How can there be peace when all the “looted” weapons are in the hands of the #MeiteiTerrorists backed by the Police? How can there be peace when the main Culprit, the CM is still in Power?”

It is a very bad situation in Manipur and the two most disturbing factors here are the incumbent chief minister, Mr. Biren Singh who has not only failed to bring peace but has been said to actually instigate the rivalry between the Meiteis and the Kukis, and secondly, the silence of the Indian media is one of the most frightening situations in India is the most worrisome sign.

How can one even laud the advancements of Manipur in the last ten years, when the state has been taken to the darkest corridors in time when Kukis and Meiteis for the first time loathe living together ever again?  This is the first time Kukis actually had to flee their homeland and take refuge in other states and many refuse to come back.  The chorus for a separate administration is rising stronger because the horrors of what happened over the last few months are too terrible to talk of living together “in the same house”.  It is like asking a victim to come and live in the same house as their abuser, who would only harm them again.

Isn’t it also the first time Kukis are living in multitudes in refugee camps, and it’s now five months without peace after years of being able to live together?
Isn’t it also the first time Kukis have fled to other states in India, refugees in their own homeland?
Isn’t it the first time Kukis are hiding in forests, too scared to live in their villages?
Isn’t it the first time that the state government is openly helping Meitei militants to fight Kukis?

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