Churachandpur: The Zomi Council on Monday organised a peaceful mass rally in Churachandpur district of Manipur to raise their demands for the creation of Zoland Territorial Council (ZTC) through the ongoing political talks between the Centre, Manipur government and United People’s Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO).
Similar public rally was also seen at various Zo inhabited areas in the state and New Delhi to press the Centre to expedite the tripartite talks with the armed groups, UPF/KNO.
According to the organisers, Zo community is a constituent of nine tribes, including Gangte, Kom, Mate, Paite, Simte, Tedim-Chin, Thangkhal, Zou and Vaiphei.
Close to 3,000 people, both young and old alike, from various parts of the district came forward and participated in the rally, which started from Tangnuam public ground and ended at Lamka public ground.
The public mass rally comes at a time when the 22-year-old Naga political talks between the Centre and the Naga groups are reportedly on their last leg of finding a final solution.
Speaking to media persons after the rally, Zomi Council chairman John K Ngaihte said: “Our demand is to create Zoland Territorial Council (ZTC) through the ongoing political talks as per the assurance given by NDA government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“The demand for ZTC is not divisive but it is within the purview of the Indian Constitution and is not against the territorial integrity of Manipur. In fact, the existence of separate administrative systems for both hills and valley in the state during and after colonial period is intended not to divide Manipur into pieces but to create a healthy administration and protect the tribes,” he added.
They also claimed that the existing Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) are not only ineffective, but redundant to meet the socio-economic and political needs of the tribal in present time.