KIM calls for 12-hr shutdown in Manipur’s Kuki-dominated areas against arrest of 5 | Latest News India

Jul 09, 2024 08:12 PM IST

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), another Kuki body, also condemned the arrests, asserting that the detained individuals were village volunteers

IMPHAL: The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), an apex body of Kuki tribes, has called for a 12-hour total shutdown on Wednesday in Kuki-Zo-dominated regions against the arrest of five Kuki-Zo individuals by central security forces.

Imphal East Security forces personnel during thei 1720536101594
Imphal East: Security forces personnel during their joint search operations in Bishnupur and Imphal East districts of Manipur (PTI FILE PHOTO/Representative Image)

KIM said the deployment of central security forces in vulnerable areas had initially provided a sense of safety to the community but the arrest of the five individuals had alarmed the community, which had been cooperating with law enforcement.

It also complained of inaction against the valley-based militant groups (VBIGs) who openly brandished sophisticated arms in the valley.

KIM also asked people to support the demand to carve out a Union Territory with a legislature for the Kuki-Zo people.

Police said two individuals including a juvenile were apprehended with three single-barrel guns by a combined team of 39 Assam Rifles (AR) and Central Reserved Police Force (CRPF) from Phaitol village on Monday morning after armed assailants attacked Manipur police and Manipur fire service personnel.

These two individuals were detected during a search operation after the firing incident in Phaitol village, Tamenglong district bordering Jiribam district.

Police said three suspected Kuki militants were arrested with three AK series weapons on Tuesday during a joint search operation conducted by CRPF, Assam Rifles and Manipur police at Hengjol village under New Keithelmanbi police station, in Kangpokpi district at around 4.30am.

Local women soon gathered to stop the joint team and forced security forces to use tear gas shells to disperse the crowd, leading to injuries to three women.

The Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), another Kuki body, condemned the arrests, asserting that the detained individuals were village volunteers to defend against attacks by valley-based radical Meitei militias. COTU demanded the immediate release of the five individuals.

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