Imphal: The Manipur government on Friday filed a complaint against the leader of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a Kuki-Zo group, on charges of conspiring to wage war against the Government of India over a remark on having self-governance in the Kuki-Zo dominated areas of the state.
Inspector N Thangzamuan, the officer-in-charge of Churachandpur police station filed an FIR against Muan Tombing, the general secretary of ITLF under sections 121A, 124A, 153, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code for offences that include sedition, giving provocation with the intention of causing a riot and criminal conspiracy.
The legal action comes days after the ITLF leader declared to establish a self-governed body for the Kuki-Zo people in Manipur within two weeks if their demand for separate administration is not fulfilled by the government.
This statement was made on Wednesday while attending a massive mass rally in Churachandpur against the atrocities on Kuki-Zo community.
On Thursday, the state ruling legislators met in Imphal and unanimously resolved to condemn the ITLF statement at the strongest term. The meeting also resolved to take appropriate legal action against ITLF and persons concerned.
eanwhile, the tribal forum strongly condemned the FIR against its secretary for his comments on a self-governing body for Kuki-Zo tribals in Manipur.
“A separate administration from the Meitei government has always been our demand since the start of the conflict in May, and we have also made it clear that any political solution should come under the constitution of India. Therefore, the charges of sedition and conspiring to wage war against the Indian government are totally baseless,” said ITLF spokesperson Ginza Vualzong in a statement on Saturday.
He further stated that such cases were also earlier filed against ITLF’s chairman and spokesperson in an attempt to silence the voice of the tribal movement.
“Why are we adamant with our demand for separation? Innocent Kuki-Zo civilians were butchered in Meitei-dominated areas including the capital, and those that survived have been chased out with no possibility of going back. We have been called illegal immigrants, and Meitei civil societies declared “war” on us. The state government and police have openly sided with the Meitei community, with commandos leading attacks on tribal villages,” he said.
Vualzong also stated that tribal government employees and 10 MLAs of Kuki-Zo people no longer reaches Imphal and are unable to perform their duties for their constituencies.
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“We have not received any help from the state government; even central government aid like food and other essential items are routed through neighbouring Mizoram state as Meitei mobs don’t allow any material to reach tribal areas. Tribals no longer have access to the highway linking us to the country’s rail corridor and the airport,” he said.
Since we don’t know when the central government will complete the mechanisms for a separate administration for Kuki-Zo tribals, we need a separate secretariat in the interim so that our government servants and lawmakers can continue working for their people, he added.
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