While the importance of a broad-based and strong peace movement with continuity in its functioning is widely realized, what exists in the name of peace movements is much more limited and fragmented.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) general secretary Muan Tombing was charged on Thursday at the Churachandpur police station.
Officials said on Friday that the Manipur government has filed a formal complaint (FIR) on many counts, including sedition, against a top leader of a frontline Kuki organization for remarks he made on “self-rule.”
At the Churachandpur police station in the district of the same name, a complaint was filed on Thursday against Muan Tombing, the general secretary of the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF).
N Thangzamuan, the officer in charge of Churachandpur police station, filed a First Information Report (FIR) under sections 121A, 124A, 153, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code for offences that include sedition, giving provocation with the intention of causing a riot, and criminal conspiracy.
On Wednesday, while attending a large-scale demonstration in Churachandpur to demand investigations into “atrocities against Kuki-Zo tribals,” Tombing informed reporters that the group would establish a “self-government” in areas where the community is the majority if the Center didn’t respond to its request for a separate administration within two weeks.
“It’s been already six months. But our demand, which is separate administration from Manipur government hasn’t been addressed till date. If the voice we raised in today’s rally is not heard in a couple of weeks, then we will set up our self-government whether the Centre recognizes (it) or not,” ITLF general secretary Muan Tombing told journalists in Churachandpur on Wednesday.
The Manipur MLAs of the BJP-led coalition in power met in Imphal on Thursday in response to the remarks, and they resolved to take “appropriate legal action against ITLF and persons concerned.”
Since May, there have been over 50,000 displaced people and up to 178 fatalities due to ethnic violence between the Kukis, who control numerous hill districts, and the Meiteis, who make up the majority in the Imphal Valley.
Meiteis have been compelled to leave Kuki-majority districts due to the violence, and Kukis have fled the Imphal Valley to locations where their community is predominately represented.