Imphal: The Meiteis and Nagas are the only two indigenous communities that have been recorded to be living in Manipur since time immemorial. However, Kukis came to settle in Manipur just recently and they have come in different waves, said the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM).
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the NSCN/GPRN stated that all historical facts of the indigenous people of Manipur have been recorded by various scholars and imminent writers, both Indians and foreigners.
Similarly, the Kukis living in Chassad village of Kamjong district have been recorded to be living only from the 1940s onwards, the statement said.
As per the statement, the Kukis have been living in and around Chassad with the permission of the Sampui village headman against yearly payment of house tax. The Kukis have been allowed to live in the area until such time when they started wrongfully claiming land ownership or land owners, the statement said.
To put the record straight, a joint consultation meeting between the Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL), an apex body for the Tangkhuls, and the Eastern Kuki Chiefs Association (EKCA) was also held on July 20, 2019 at TNL’s office in Ukhrul district. During the meeting, both the parties jointly signed the agreement saying that Chassad Kukis are not the indigenous people and have no ancestral land in the Kamjong area, informed the Naga group.
As per the statement, the recent Chassad fire incident was the result of provocation and the road block between Kamjong and Ukhrul, the burning down of a newly constructed petrol pump and one truck belonging to the Tangkhuls by the Kukis.
The Naga group further alleged that the Kukis in connivance with the Manipur government under the chief minister N Biren Singh are taking undue advantage of Tangkhul’s ‘humility and honesty’ while ignoring all the facts and historical evidences. As such, the Nagas have taken strong exception to this effect, the statement said.
Historical records said that in the British India period, the Kukis were used as ‘buffers’ to counter the militant Nagas. But such an antiquated manner to counter-weight the Nagas cannot be repeated now or forever, the Naga group said.
All said and done, the historical facts and other evidences that led to the flare-up in Chassad village issue and the prejudiced stand taken by the Manipur government has to be handled in the manner as called for, the statement added.