Imphal: The United Naga Council (UNC), the apex body of the Nagas in Manipur, would hold a mass rally on August 9 in the Naga areas of the state for resolving the decades-old Naga political issue based on the Framework Agreement, signed in August 3, 2015.
The apex Kuki tribal body Kuki organisation Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) has announced to support the UNC’s mass rally in four Naga-dominated districts -- Tamenglong, Chandel, Ukhrul, and Senapati.
The Kuki tribals are engaged in ethnic strife with the majority Meitei in Manipur since May 3, that has left over 160 people dead and over 700 injured of both communities.
The UNC, in a statement, said that Naga peace talks with the government have made significant progress with the signing of the historic Framework Agreement between the Centre and the NSCN-IM eight years ago.
However, the inordinate delay in signing the ‘Final Agreement’ is a cause for concern and has the potential to derail the peace negotiation, it said.
‘Greater Nagalim’ along with the separate flags and constitution are the NSCN-IM’s core demands causing the delay in the final resolution in the much expected Nga issue. Greater Nagalim stipulates the integration of Naga-inhabited areas of Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, as well as Myanmar.
There is stiff opposition to the NSCN-IM's demand in the neighbouring states.
In 2001, Manipur witnessed violent agitation against the NSCN-IM demand and even the state assembly was partially burnt. Many people lost their lives when the ceasefire between the Centre and NSCN-IM was extended without territorial limits.
The KIM in a statement said that at a critical time wherein the tribal Kukis of Manipur are being subjected to bear the brunt of "ethnic cleansing" being unleashed by the majority Meiteis, aided and abetted covertly by the state machineries, the KIM fully endorsed the proposed mass rally of UNC.
"Enduring the apathetic attitude of the successive Manipur governments for over 50 years’ vis-a-vis denial of tribals’ constitutional rights and institutional injustices meted out by the majoritarian hegemony in socio-politico and economic spheres upon the suppressed tribal communities, it is prudent on the part of the Central leadership to act conscientiously thereby expedite the processes of resolving the legitimate demands of both the tribal communities in the form of separate administration for the Kukis and in conformity with the Framework Agreement for the Nagas so as to ensure lasting peace in the beleaguered, torn-apart state of Manipur," the KIM statement said.
The non-tribal Meiteis account for around 53 per cent of Manipur’s around 3.2 million populations and live mostly in the valley regions while the tribal Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts, which covers around 90 per cent of the geographical areas of Manipur.