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Kangpokpi, Manipur — October 2, 2023: In a significant development in Manipur, the Committee On Tribal Unity (COTU) has issued a press release condemning what it perceives as one-sided justice orchestrated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). COTU alleges a partisan attitude on the part of the Union Home Ministry in supporting the narrative of the Valley Chief Minister in a conflict-ridden state.
Arrests and Abductions
COTU’s press release dated October 2, 2023, highlights two specific incidents that have fueled its outrage. First, it points to the arrest of four Kuki-Zo individuals in the Leimatak area, a move it views as biased and prejudiced. Additionally, COTU expresses concern over the arrest of Seiminlun Gangte, which it believes reflects an attempt to bolster a particular narrative.
In response to these developments, the Committee On Tribal Unity has taken the drastic step of imposing an emergency shutdown on NH-37. This action is aimed at pressuring the relevant authorities to expedite the safe release of Mr. Satthang Kipgen, a resident of Bijang Village in the New Keithelmanbi area, who was allegedly abducted.
Ultimatum to the Union Home Ministry
COTU’s press release issues a stern ultimatum to the Union Home Ministry, demanding that central agencies take immediate action. The ultimatum includes the release of all Kuki-Zo individuals who have been arrested and the initiation of investigations into alleged crimes committed by Meitei individuals. The organization argues that such actions are essential to uphold natural justice.
The press release specifically identifies several cases that, in COTU’s view, require immediate attention:
- The looting of 6000 arms and six lakhs of ammunition from the state arsenal, with a call for the booking of responsible officers and individuals.
- The gut-wrenching incident involving paraded victims, where COTU insists on immediate justice and accountability for the culprits.
- The rape and murder of two Kuki-Zo girls, Florence Hangshing and Olivia Chongloi, for which the organization seeks justice.
- The immolation of seven-year-old Thangsing Hangshing and his mother Meena Hangshing, with a demand for the booking of the individuals responsible.
- The massacre of three Kuki-Zo individuals at Kangchup Area, for which COTU has photo evidence that it is willing to provide to central agencies.
- The beheading of Late David Thlek, allegedly carried out by Mr. Mairembam Romesh Mangang and his associates. Again, COTU offers photo evidence to support its claims.
Warning of Indefinite Shutdown
The Committee On Tribal Unity has conveyed a clear message to the Union Home Ministry. It has given an ultimatum of 48 hours for the ministry to take action on the above cases. Failure to do so will result in COTU imposing an indefinite shutdown across the entirety of Kangpokpi District.
These developments underscore the complex and fraught nature of the situation in Manipur, where ethnic tensions, allegations of bias, and demands for justice have created a volatile environment. COTU’s actions represent a significant step in seeking redress and accountability, as the organization presses for impartiality, transparency, and adherence to the principles of justice.