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Separate Kuki State Demand Put To Sonia

LAMKA, Nov 13: The Kuki State Demand Committee, a lesser known entity, yesterday reminded the visiting AICC President, Sonia Gandhi of the need for a separate Kuki State to resolve the long standing problems of the Kuki people as a part of resolving the prolonged unrest besetting Manipur.

The Kuki National Assembly had as early as 1963 submitted a memorandum for a separate Kuki State as it was clear even then, that the Kuki people would not be given their rightful due under a State dominated by a communally dominant majority, said the committee who also appended a December 16, 2009 memorandum of the armed outfit KNO to Sonia Gandhi as well as that of Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) to the Home Minister on Oct 18, 2010.

All the memoranda in one voice called for a separate Statehood for the Kuki people.

‘State sponsored discrimination of the tribals; the Kukis in particular, over the decades following independence and the formation of Manipur Territorial Council have rendered the Kuki people economically downtrodden, socially weak and politically vulnerable,’ alleged the committee in their representation.

It also dubbed the Autonomous District Councils as forcibly constituted body under a decapitated Act which grant neither effective power over tribal lands nor substantive financial power.

It also accused the dominant community of vehemently opposing the long standing demand of the tribal districts.

The committee claimed, the Kuki people represented by the apex civil body, the Kuki Inpi in support with all the Kuki armed organizations have resolved to assert the rights to govern their own affairs over their ancestral territories, as a separate Kuki State under the Indian Constitution.

The territories according to the memorandum include the present Sadar Hills region, Churachandpur and Chandel districts, and the Kuki villages in Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong districts of Manipur.

National Organization, one of the armed groups that entered into a tripartite suspension of operations with the State and Central Government yesterday reminded AICC President Sonia Gandhi of the need for a Kuki State.

*Reported by S Singlianmang Guite.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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