'Few Commanding Officers of Assam Rifles Creating Issues': Kuki-Zo Groups

At a press conference in Delhi, representatives from Manipur said the Union government must 'rein in' the state government.

New Delhi: Representatives of the Kuki organisations in Delhi and NCR presented several demands at the Press Club of India on Monday (January 29). “We have tried tirelessly to engage with the Government of India, but our efforts have not received a response. Media is now our community’s only hope to raise our voice to home minister Amit Shah,” a representative said.

In recent days, numerous news reports have emerged, with the Kuki community alleging that Assam Rifles is causing issues for their volunteers. Since the violence began in Manipur, the Meiteis expressed satisfaction with Manipur Police, while the Kukis were happier with the central forces. However, in the past few weeks, the Kukis have accused Assam Rifles of attacking their people. The Wire‘s reporter asked about this during the press conference.

“We are still content with the Assam Rifle, but there are two officers who are causing problems for us. These officers exhibit bias against our community. One is Rahul Jain, stationed at Moreh, and the other is Akash Oinam, a Meitei officer posted in the Saikul area,” was the response.

“At the onset of the violence, we brought this issue to the attention of the Central government and demanded the placement of unbiased officers in Manipur,” said W.L. Hangshing, general secretary of the Kuki People’s Alliance. Another representative, Mary Grace, added, “These officers are assisting Meitei militant groups in infiltrating our buffer zone and aiding them in harming our people.”

Representatives of the Kuki community also called for the immediate and complete withdrawal of Meitei State Security Forces from Moreh. Several months ago, during Shah’s visit to Manipur, he issued assurances to the community regarding this demand. However, the home minister is yet to take action.

Another demand they raised is to enforce a buffer zone and requested the Government of India to empower Central forces to prevent Meitei militants from intruding on and attacking Kuki-Zo villages.

Furthermore, they urged the Central government to “rein in” the Manipur government immediately. “The Manipur Government is now under the control of Meitei militant groups,” they declared.

The group also called for assistance in securing admissions for Kuki-Zo students in educational institutes outside the state to allow them to complete their studies. “There are hundreds of Kuki-Zo students who have been unable to continue their studies,” they added.