The Kuki-Zo community’s Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) in Manipur has announced that members in three districts will exercise “self-rule.”
As per The Hindu’s report, ITLF General Secretary Muan Tombing stated that individuals from the Kuki-Zo community in Tengnoupal, Kangpokpi, and Churachandpur districts will experience self-rule, emphasizing that the community holds no expectations from the Meitei Manipur government.
Indicating indifference to the Center’s recognition, he mentioned, “The discussion on the plan has been ongoing for the past month.” He emphasized that the decision to declare self-rule was influenced by the Union government’s practice of “selective justice.”
One day ago, Indian Express reported that the ITLF issued an ultimatum, stating it would establish a self-government if its demands aren’t met within two weeks, regardless of the central government’s recognition.
Since the outbreak of violence on May 3, the northeastern state has experienced deep ethnic divisions, resulting in numerous casualties, injuries, and displacements. Kuki-Zo MLAs and prominent figures, expressing a lack of trust, have advocated for a separate territory, particularly highlighting concerns with the Meitei-majority government led by Bharatiya Janata Party’s N. Biren Singh.
Muan Tombing of ITLF stated that the community will appoint a separate chief minister, and government officials from the Kuki-Zo group, who were compelled to leave Imphal and haven’t returned, will be assigned responsibilities. With a Meitei majority in Imphal, Tombing highlighted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah referred to Kuki-Zo people as “outsiders” in parliament in August. Since May 3, despite several rounds of negotiations with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officials, reported by The Hindu, the discussions have remained inconclusive.