Imphal, Sept 7:
The Liangmai Naga Indigenous Forum (LNIF) vehemently condemns the life attempt meted out to. Z Hotngambou, former village chairman of Rianglong, who was thrashed by Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) at Chalwa Village on September 5.
A Press Release by the LNIF said, “Manu Z Hotngambou is a peace-loving citizen and a respected senior leader who always believes in the principle of hard work. The man was driving his Bolero pickup towards Imphal and when he reached Chalwa village, the Kuki militants stopped him and demanded a certain amount of money, but he refused to pay, as he didn’t have money. At that moment he was called aside on the pretext of talking and he was thrashed multiple times on his face and head leaving him temporarily unconscious and bleeding. After that incident, he proceeded towards Kangpokpi for Imphal. another group of Kuki militants demanded money, forcing him to pay, out of fear for his life he negotiated for Rs 2000. LNIF appeals to the Kuki people who are living in I.T. road, that they should learn to love, respect others, and live peacefully in the state. Stop harassing innocent people, taking illegal taxes from vegetable sellers, charcoal makers, parkia (yongchak) traders, and from any of the villagers. “
The LNIF said that this is not the first time that various Kuki groups are indulging in barbaric acts like extortion, threat, physical assault, and harassment in I.T road. Now Kuki militants are asked to answer as to why such actions are repeatedly taken against the Naga community in a very short span of time?
Some incidents and anti-social activities indulged by the members of Kuki militants (KRA) in the recent past are, In January 2005, Manu Champonbou, the Chairman of Tudon II was brutally beaten up and his front teeth were knocked out by Kuki militants at Chalwa in front of many people. In another incident, the chairmen of Kadi village part III & IV, Manu Wipoubou, Khangriangbou and their companions were also brutally beaten by KRA at Chalwa Village, when they were returning home from Imphal in October, 2007. They stopped their vehicle and asked for Rs 10,000 and when they refused to give the money since they didn’t have the said amount, the Kuki militants started assaulting them physically.
Again in another unfortunate incident that took place on 27 October 2017, a victim identified as Manu Agombou, the Secretary of Tamei Centre Church, was brutally assaulted by a Kuki armed group identified as KRA. The said Kuki armed group detained him for more than five hours, mercilessly kicked, slapped and even threatened to shoot him on his head. They snatched away his smartphone and his wallet containing Rs 7,800. Again, in 2020, during the peak of the pandemic lockdown, the LPG supplier to Tamei was beaten up by the anti-social people at Chalwa village. In goodwill and love, as Christians the Naga communities forgive them without taking any action. Also, in another tragic incident, a house belonging to a Naga widow was reduced to ashes by Kukis on 18 June, 2023 at Leimakhong. The fire completely burnt down the house and all her belongings were reduced to ashes.
In another incident, On 2 May 2023, a truck carrying the monolith in the I.T road for the Celebration of Centenary at Tamei was forcefully stopped by Kuki Militants and demanded money. Even after a lot of requests and showing an official letter from the committee or even a call from a respected Executive Secretary could not intervene in the situation and they blatantly snatched away Rs 1000 and lastly, on 27 May 2023. Kukis militants came to Namdilong, Kanglatongbi village and fired with automatic weapons whereby infants, women, aged citizens, and sick people were frightened and woken up in the middle of the night.
The press release further said, “on the I.T road, Kuki people have crossed all limits to the neutral community who has been working as an ambassador of peace from day one of the ongoing conflicts. We have been giving free passage to every community irrespective of their background. Our Good Samaritan acts are seen as weakness by some conflicting communities and are taking undue advantage of our silence and good nature. “
The act of savage and barbarism have no place in this modern world. Such acts are considered direct and strong threats and challenges to the neutral Naga community. The Liangmai Naga Indigenous Forum (LNIF) further appeals to every Naga citizen to stand united against such elements which are a threat to the society. The LNIF appeals to Kuki militant (KRA) to refrain from doing such anti-social activities which may hurt the sentiment and emotions of Naga and affect the peaceful atmosphere of its jurisdiction, the press release signed by the LNIF said.
The LNIF urges upon the state government to come out with a policy to protect and safeguard unarmed civilians and also demands that law enforcement agencies must book those armed groups at the earliest and award befitting punishment as per the law of the land.