Manipur: Meitei group blames narco-terrorists for riots, demands NRC

Meitei group urges the Centre not to engage in talks with Kuki outfits until NRC is rolled out in Manipur

| Updated: 09 August, 2023 1:48 pm IST
Khuraijan Athouba emphasized that the Central government should take aggressive actions against infiltrators and illegal migrants residing in Manipur's hill jungles.

NEW DELHI: An influential group of the Meitei community has blamed recent crackdown on narco-terror networks for ethnic riots in Manipur and demanded the rollout of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to combat infiltration from Myanmar.

In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) spokesperson Khuraijan Athouba opposed the Union government’s intention to hold talks with the self-proclaimed Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF).

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“This group is directly involved in the ongoing violence in Manipur. Their members are leaders of immigrant Chin-Kuki narco-terrorist organizations, coercing innocent Kuki civilians into participating in violent activities. Manipuri citizens have seen video footage and images of these members wielding sophisticated Sniper Rifles and operating drone cameras from hilltop locations within Manipur,” he said.

Authouba held Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga accountable for supporting the Kuki community in their conflict against the Meiteis in Manipur, highlighting instances where the Manipur CM had protested against the former’s unwarranted interference in the state’s affairs.

COCOMI spokesperson Khuraijan Athouba speaking with The New Indian special correspondent Alok Singh 

He said COCOMI firmly believes that the proposed meeting involving the Union home minister, the ITLF, and the Mizoram chief minister will not only offend the sentiments of the Manipuri people but also erode confidence in the Central government’s commitment to addressing the violence in Manipur.

The spokesperson asserted that both the nation and the international community now recognize that the ongoing strife in Manipur is not limited to a localized conflict between the Chin-Kuki and Meitei communities.

“Instead, it encompasses cross-border illegal migration, the rise of Narco-Terrorism, extensive opium poppy cultivation in Manipur’s hill areas (posing a threat to ecological and environmental security), and the encroachment of illegal settlements into reserved forest zones.”

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Reports suggest that these infiltrators have mixed with the existing Kuki population in Manipur and involved them in illegal poppy cultivation. The state government recently launched an operation against narco-terrorism, conducting a large-scale drive in various parts of Manipur to halt such cultivation. “The state government’s action against narco-terrorism has significantly contributed to their anger,” he added.

He emphasized that the Central government should take aggressive actions against infiltrators and illegal migrants residing in Manipur’s hill jungles. Implementing the NRC is a key solution to this problem, as it would identify the true citizens of India, whether Kuki or Meitei.

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