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Manipur: Kuki-Zo groups hold rallies seeking end to violence, demand UT

A rally organised by the Kuki-Zo community in Manipur's Churachandpur on Monday.

IMPHAL- Thousands of protesters from the Kuki-Zo tribal community of Manipur organised rallies in four districts of the state on Monday seeking an end to the ongoing ethnic violence in the state and demanding creation of a ‘Union territory’ for their people.

A rally organised by the Kuki-Zo community in Manipur’s Churachandpur on Monday.

Kuki apex bodies, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) and the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), submitted two separate memoranda to Union home minister Amit Shah to expedite a political solution for the Kuki-Zo community on Monday.

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Under the umbrella of the two Kuki apex bodies, mass rallies were organised in Manipur’s Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, Tengnoupal and Pherzawl districts. The Kuki-Zo population is in majority in these districts

The rally organised by ITLF saw thousands of protestors from the community marching through the streets of Churachandpur district, demanding a political solution to end the year-long ethnic violence in Manipur.

In the memorandum submitted to the Union home minister, the two Kuki apex bodies demanded the immediate expedition of the long-pending political solution for the Kuki-Zo in the form of a Union Territory (UT) with legislature as envisaged under Article 239A of the Constitution of India.

The memorandum also said, “…almost 200 Kuki-Zo tribals have been killed and more than 7,000 homes destroyed, including places of worship. In fact, another 50 homes and shops belonging to Kuki-Zo tribals were burned down in the Jiribam district alone.”

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It further demanded the streamlining of all Kuki-Zo village volunteer forces into a proper military unit, the Kuki-Zo Regiment.

It also mentioned that for more than a year, the absence of a quality healthcare system in the hill districts, especially in areas predominantly occupied by the Kuki-Zo, and the blocking of medical supplies from the Imphal Valley towards Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, Tengnoupal, and Chandel, including Moreh town, have adversely affected the quality of life for the Kuki-Zo in these areas.

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