Manipur Violence: Appropriate legal action being initiated against ITLF by Govt

Imphal: The Manipur government is initiating appropriate legal action against the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum over its recent statement. The state government’s spokesperson and education minister, Thounaojam Basantakumar, informed the same during a press-briefing held at DIPR conference hall in Imphal Thursday evening.

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Not delving into the exact content of ITLF’s statement, minister Thounaojam Basantakumar said that the recent statement by ITLF [“Self rule”] has no legal or constitutional basis.

“This irresponsible statement appears to be motivated and aimed at vitiating and disturbing the law and order situation in the state. The ruling legislators held a meeting on Thursday afternoon and strongly condemned the statement of ITLF. Appropriate legal action is being initiated against ITLF and persons concerned,” the minister said.

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It may be mentioned that the ITLF, the frontal organisation of Kuki-Zo people in the wake of Manipur violence spearheading the demand for Separate Administration, announced its decision to form “self-rule” in Kuki-Zo dominated areas if its demands are not met in two weeks, whether the Union government recognizes it or not.

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The ultimatum was served on the sidelines of a mass rally held in Churachandpur. The ITLF general secretary Muan Tombing told The Hindu on Wednesday (Nov 15) that in the wake of “selective justice” by the central government, they were compelled to take the step. Tombing had said that the Kuki-Zo people’s demand of self-rule included the districts of Tengnoupal, Kangpokpi and Churachandpur, and that the community has “no expectations from the Meitei Manipur government.”

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In addition, minister Thounaojam Basantakumar addressed the issue of a factually incorrect history textbook for class 11 prescribed by Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur, stating that it has been withdrawn and excluded from the ongoing academic session after it was reviewed by COHSEM Textbook Review Committee headed by Professor N. Joykumar.

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The minister clarified that the incorrect textbook was included in the syllabus in 2013 under the previous government and assured that the present government will look into legal actions that could be taken against the writers and publishers.

It is worth mentioning that experts have pointed out that the textbook in question, titled “History of Manipur”, written by Dr. M Kaoba Singh and B. Sm. Sharma, contains a factually incorrect history of the Kuki settlement in Manipur in comparison with written accounts by British rulers in the state.

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