Mass rallies staged in Kuki-Zo dominated areas, demand UT

IT News,
Imphal June 24:

Thousands of members from the Kuki-Zo tribal community took to the streets of Churachandpur today, demanding the creation of a Union Territory as a political solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur. Organized by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), the rally commenced at the Churachandpur Public Ground and concluded at the Wall of Remembrance, honoring nearly 200 tribal lives lost during the unrest.
Demonstrators carried placards with slogans such as “No Political Solution, No Peace” and “Union Territory for the Kuki-Zo People Right Now!”, clearly voicing their demands. Key speakers at the rally included ITLF Chairman Pagin Haokip, MLA Paolienlal Haokip, Zo United Secretary Rev. VL Ngakthang, Zomi Council General Secretary Pauneihlal, and Kuki Inpi Manipur Vice President Jangmang Haokip. ITLF General Secretary Muan Tombing presented a memorandum outlining the community’s grievances to be submitted to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The protest aimed to urge the central government to expedite efforts in resolving the escalating violence in Manipur. The tribal groups are specifically advocating for the creation of a Union Territory with legislative powers under Article 239A of the Constitution.
According to ITLF, the urgency for intervention stems from a year-long escalation of violence that has resulted in significant casualties and destruction within tribal communities.
Recent incidents in the Jiribam district, where tribal individuals were killed and properties vandalized allegedly by Meitei groups, have further heightened tensions. The ITLF highlighted ongoing humanitarian concerns, such as restricted access to essential supplies, halted developmental activities, and discriminatory practices in job recruitment favoring Meitei-majority areas.
Similar demonstrations took place in Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal, and Pherzawl districts, reflecting widespread tribal discontent. The rallies took place without any disturbance and obstruction from the state and central security forces.
The rally concluded with ITLF leaders formally submitting their memorandum to the Union Home Minister through the Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur, emphasizing the critical need for swift and decisive measures to restore peace and security in Manipur’s tribal regions.

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