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HomeNews'Withdraw security personnel belonging to Meitei community from Moreh'

‘Withdraw security personnel belonging to Meitei community from Moreh’

The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), a tribal body of Manipur, has asked the government to withdraw all Meitei security personnel from Moreh by Monday, failing which it would start public protests in all tribal districts. The movement of additional state security forces was being blocked by women on National Highway 102 in Tengnoupal.

A senior state government official said, “Additional forces were rushed but women protesters blocked the movement of security forces. The state government is sending more forces as there are inputs that armed people from Myanmar have sneaked in.”

Moreh, which is just 4 km to the west of Myanmar’s largest border town Tamu, saw large-scale violence last Wednesday and Thursday. A group of attackers set on fire at least 30 abandoned houses and shops on Wednesday, including the house of a forest guard and the forest office. Security forces rushed to the areas and dispersed the mob. Most people have abandoned their houses and shops in Moreh, which is 110 km south of Imphal.

Ginza Vualzong, who is in charge of ITLF’s media and publicity, stated that ITLF was alarmed over the Manipur government’s attempt to station state security forces in Moreh town in Tengnoupal district, which is inhabited by Kuki-Zo tribals.

“It is common knowledge that Meitei security forces are openly supporting the majority community in the present ethnic conflict. This is why tribal women in Moreh are blocking the national highway to stop state forces from entering the border town. There are also fears that militant groups are embedded with the police commandos and could wreak havoc if they enter Moreh. The majority of civil and police officers in Tengnoupal district are from the majority Meitei community, including the Additional District Superintendent of Police, sub-divisional police officer and officer-in-charge.”

A massive sit-in protest was held in Kangpokpi town organised by the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) Sadar Hills, Kangpokpi district. CoTU‘s general secretary, Lamminlun Singsit, said the N Biren Singh-led Manipur government’s aggressive attempt to deploy additional state security forces in Kuki-Zo tribal-dominated Moreh “will only heighten tension and lead to more violence” as state forces are in favour of the Meiteis.

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