Manipur: Kuki Organisations lend support to 3rd round of tripartite talks for statehood
Imphal, August 10, 2017: Kuki Organisations which included the United People's Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organization (KNO) which are the representatives for the 23 cognate tribes have staged massive rallies across the state on Wednesday on demands for separate Kuki statehood.
The orgnaisations which included Kuki civil society organisations spearheaded by Kuki Women Union rallied at Kangpokpi DHQs in support of the third round of tripartite political talks between the UPF-KNO, representing the Kukis and Government of India and Government of Manipur .
According to sources, the talks included newly appointed interlocutor – Dineshswar Sharma, former director of Intelligence Bureau (IB). The Kuki groups are signatories of a Suspension of Operation agreement, signed between the groups and the government.
During the second round of talks held on October 19 last year, the KNO and UPF had submitted a case statement for a separate state which was dedicated to the forbears of the Kukis.
In Manipur, the main rally demanding Kuki statehood was staged at Brig Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi district headquarters at around 7:30 am and marched towards Kangpokpi Bazar via Trans Asian Highway No.1.
They held bannesr and pamphlets inscribed with slogans that said 'We Support Indo-Kuki Political Talks', 'Expedite Indo-Kuki Political Talks', 'Statehood, the long-cherished dream of the Kukis' and 'Why not statehood for the Kukis?'.
A public meeting was held at Brigadier Thomas Ground before the rally, where Seikhomang Khongsai, president of Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi, said the support rally aims at sending a message to the Centre about the aspirations of the Kuki people and expedite the process of the "Indo-Kuki" political talks. "It is also a message to the UPF and Kuki National Organization KNO, who represented the 23 cognate tribes of the Kukis in the talks, that we spiritedly stand united in support of your representation and pray for your success," he added.
Hahat Touthang, a leader of Kuki Women's Union, said, "We hope and pray that the third round of the Indo-Kuki political talks expedites the formation of a separate state for the Kukis, which is our political aspiration." She urged the governments to recall the sacrifices made by Kukis in the Indian National Army, and the famous Kuki War of Independence between 1917 and 1919 against the British.
TNT News with inputs from Times of India