The Manipur Police in Kangpokpi district have registered a case against Meitei Leepun chief M Pramot Singh for allegedly promoting enmity between groups and criminal conspiracy, among others.
A first information report (FIR) was registered on July 8 based on a complaint by Kuki Students Organisation (KSO), Sadar Hills, Kongpokpi. A complaint was filed on June 13 at the Kangpokpi police station, but was converted into an FIR on July 8 under sections 120-B, 153-A, 504, 505, 506 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. HT has seen a copy of the FIR.
Manipur has been witnessing ethnic clashes between two tribal communities – Meitei and Kuki – since May 3 which has claimed nearly 150 lives, injured over 300 and displaced more than 50,000 people.
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Meitei Leepun and Arambai Tenggol are two radical Meitei organisations, which have been blamed by Kuki groups for allegedly instigating and perpetuating the ongoing violence in Manipur.
The charges against the Meitei Leepun chief include “criminal conspiracy, promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc. and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony, intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace, public mischief, criminal intimidation with common intention”, according to the FIR.
In its complaint, the KSO mentioned an interview given by the Meitei Lepun chief to journalist Karan Thapar of ‘The Wire’ on June 7, where he allegedly mentioned that “Kukis are outsiders who are not indigenous to Manipur”.
Senior Manipur police officials didn’t respond to calls for an update on the investigation into the case.
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Meanwhile, Kuki Inpi Manipur, the apex body of Kuki tribes in the state, on Friday reaffirmed its demand for a separate administration by creating a new state under the provision of Article 3 of the Constitution.
“The scale and intensity of the institutionalised violence reached catastrophic proportion wherein even our elected representatives are not spared let alone our bureaucrats and police officers,” a press release by the group read.
“As a matter of fact, demographical/geographical separation has come into effect now. It is therefore pertinent on the part of the central government to expedite separate administration in the form of creation of a new state,” it added.
The demand for a separate administration for the Kuki-Zo-Chin-Hmar people, who primarily reside in the hill districts of Manipur was first raised in May by 10 Kuki MLAs, including seven from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. It was later endorsed by all major Kuki organisations.