Watch | 'Will Never Accept Separate Kuki Administration,' Says Manipuri Body

Athouba Khuraijam of the Coordinating Committee for Manipur Integrity tells Karan Thapar that Assam Rifles has been 'siding with Kukis', whom he referred to as 'narco-terrorists'.

Athouba Khuraijam, the spokesperson of the Coordinating Committee for Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), said his organisation will not accept Kukis’ demand for a separate administration “even if heavens fall”.

According to an Indian Express July 27 report, members from the organisation met Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials representing the Centre to discuss steps to resolve the crisis in Manipur. However, the spokesperson denied any such meeting while also admitting that the members of the organisation were invited to have tea with an IB official whom he did not name.

In a 40-minute interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire, Khuraijam said COCOMI has not taken a position either in favour or opposed to the Meitei demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

When questioned about whether the FIR filed against COCOMI by the Assam Rifles – which accused the organisation of sedition, promoting enmity, and defamation – Khuraijam, in turn, accused the Assam Rifles of siding with Kukis, whom he often referred to as “narco-terrorists” during the course of the interview. He accused Assam Rifles of failing to control and stop the illegal drug trade and permitting illegal immigrants to enter and settle in Manipur.

Khuraijam referred to claims made by the general secretary of the Kuki People’s Alliance Wilson Lalam Hangshing – during an interview to The Wire on July 27 – as “lies”. Hangshing had said that an estimated 200 Meitei combatants had been killed in a conflict in Khamenlok on June 13-14.

I am only giving you the main points. There’s a lot more in the full interview which alternates in tone and style between tough and aggressive and is on occasion even acrimonious. Regardless of whatever you may think of the content and the arguments made, this makes for riveting viewing because of its highly charged tone and delivery. I recommend you watch it.