COCOMI holds mass rally to protect Manipur’s integrity

Image for representational purposes only. Amidst the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, the COCOMI on June 28 took out a mass rally from Imphal West’s Thau Ground, calling for the integrity of the State to be maintained.

Image for representational purposes only. Amidst the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, the COCOMI on June 28 took out a mass rally from Imphal West’s Thau Ground, calling for the integrity of the State to be maintained.
| Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Amidst the ongoing ethnic conflict in Manipur, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity on June 28 took out a mass rally from Imphal West’s Thau Ground, calling for the integrity of the State to be maintained, an end to the Suspension of Operations pact with Kuki-Zo groups, and a stop to combing operations that they believe are being conducted in a biased manner.

The rally, which was effectively one to counter the demand for a separate administration by the Kuki-Zo community, was attended by hundreds of students from the city’s top schools and colleges. Imphal West Independent MLA Nishikanta Singh Sapam, who also attended the rally, said, “I am an Independent MLA but a Manipuri first so I joined the rally to show my support for the people.”

Th. Somorendro, Coordinator of the COCOMI, one of the most influential CSOs in the valley, said, “This rally is being held to protect the integrity of Manipur and to stop the Government of India from dividing us.”

Mr. Sapam added that the people of Manipur will never compromise on the integrity of the State and that any demand for a split in the State’s boundaries as they stand today would be unacceptable.

“The people are clearly feeling that the need is to be able to protect themselves because the administration has failed them. And in the middle of this, they are also feeling like combing operations are only being done in the valley to recover weapons but not in the Hills,” Mr. Sapam told The Hindu, as the rally entered its end point at Khumanlampak Stadium. 

This rally comes days after Kuki-Zo tribal communities across the Hill districts held massive rallies asking the Union government to expedite their demand for a separate administration for their people.

In memoranda submitted to the Home Minister, the Kuki-Zo community has sought a Union Territory with legislature under Article 239A of the Constitution of India.

On June 28, many Meira Paibi groups from nearby districts like Moirang and Bishnupur also joined the rally in Imphal along with other women’s civilian groups. At the rally, student groups called for “justice” and to “root out Kuki narco-terrorists from Manipur”.

Other slogans being raised by the protesters called for a stop to “India’s attempt to exterminate indigenous communities”; and an end to “Divide and Rule policy of India”.



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