UN experts raise alarm over human rights violations in Manipur crisis
Manipur riots (file photo).

Aizawl: Manipur based Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a conglomerate of various civil societies and student organisations of the Kuki-Mizo-Hmar-Zomi tribes, on Monday demanded the imposition of President’s Rule in the state after fresh clashes broke out in the past days.

A statement issued by the tribal body also demanded the termination of Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for allegedly being responsible for the unrest in the state.

The forum vehemently condemned the state forces’ action and urged the Centre to deploy additional central armed forces in the strife-torn state in order to protect innocent villagers. 

It alleged that the BJP-led Manipur government headed by N Biren Singh had been carrying out ethnic cleansing since May 3 against the tribal people.

Several villages belonging to the tribals were burnt down and many innocent tribals were killed in the alleged ethnic cleansing, it said. 

The forum further alleged that the valley (Meitei) underground cadres disguised in Manipur police uniforms, were perpetrators leading to the endless horrific crime against the tribals.

It also refuted Singh’s claim that the tribal underground groups under Suspension of Operation (SoO) were involved in the clashes. 

“While the SoO groups are in their designated camps, the poor tribal villagers defending their villages with just a handful of single barrels guns and a few licensed guns were collected from them by the Army leaving them helpless or leaving them to die at the hands of the state-led machinery,” the forum said in the statement. 

Dissatisfied with the ongoing ethnic killings and cleansing, the security forces at present have even started combing operations in tribal villages after allowing looting of arms from 7 Manipur Rifles, 8 Indian Reserve Battalion, 3 Indian Reserve Battalion, Manipur Police Training College, and 9 Manipur Rifles, it said.

Earlier on Sunday Singh claimed that at least 33 Kuki militants were gunned down by security forces. 

Meanwhile, 8,282 internally displaced people from Manipur have fled to Mizoram and taken shelter in nine districts of the state, officials said. 

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Kolasib district near Assam border hosted the highest number of internally displaced people at 2,925, followed by Aizawl district at 2,738 and Saitual district at 2,257, they said. 

The remaining 362 people, according to the body, took shelter in Champhai, Khawzawl, Serchhip, Mamit, Lunglei and Hnahthial districts.

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