Imphal: The Zomi Chiefs’ Association with grave concern and deep anguish over the ongoing ethnic violence against the minority Zo (Zomi-Kuki) tribes in Manipur for over 70 days, said its community has endured state-sponsored violence, resulting in more than 100 deaths, uprooting of over 300 villages, and forceful displacement of more than 50,000 people.
“Regrettably, our pleas for assistance have been met with indifference from the mainstream media, as well as the state and central governments,” ZCA rued.
Terming the viral video that surfaced recently of two defenseless Zo women from B. Phainom village in Kangpokpi district an appalling act and crime against humanity, ZCA said the horrifying incident was most deplorable — the acts of unclothing, parading, groping, and ultimately gang rape by a Meitei mob on May 4. This itself has stunned the entire nation, read the statement issued on Thursday.
Vehemently condemning the heinous act and fervently praying for the survivors and their families to find the strength to recover from the unimaginable trauma, the Zomi Chiefs’ Association pointed out that it is crucial to acknowledge that this incident is just one among many that have been perpetrated against the minority Zo tribals.
“It is pertinent that the citizens and Government of India must stand up and take necessary steps to restore peace and justice, if you truly consider us citizens and our lands a part of India,” urged the Zomi Chief Association.
Stating that the arbitrary actions of the Manipur state government and its forces have now been laid bare for the entire world to witness, ZCA said it is evident that the forceful integration of the Zo tribals and Meiteis under one political administration is no longer tenable.
While earnestly appealing to every citizen of India, regardless of gender, religion, caste, color, creed, or place of birth, to accept the moral responsibility of restoring peace and justice in the present state of Manipur, the Chief’s Association called upon all fellow citizens of India to support the cause of the Zo tribals in their quest for a separate administration, as provided under Article 3 of the Constitution of India.
Let us unite as a nation and firmly oppose the injustice and violence that has persisted for far too long. It is incumbent upon us to ensure that the voices of the oppressed are heard and that they are granted the rights and dignity they deserve, it added.
Meanwhile, in connection to the video, all 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs have called the incident despicable. They said the video which went viral across the nation, once again brought to light the innumerable barbaric crimes perpetrated against the Kuki-Zo community by the Meitei militias till today.
“Among the over 114 confirmed deaths so far, and other barbaric crimes against the Kuki-Zomi community, this tragic incident, the brutal rapes and murder of two Kuki-Zomi women from H. Khopibung at Imphal Konung Mamang, the murder of a Kuki-Zo mother and her two daughters in their residence at Uripok, Imphal, the kidnapping of a Kuki-Zo woman from Checkon brutally raped twice in Langol and Ngarian Hill, the lynching of two nursing students in Porompat left to die on the streets, but miraculously survived, the merciless killing of a Kuki-Zo mentally unsound woman in the heart of Imphal city are the most inhumane and barbaric crimes against women and humanity. These and the beheading of David Thiek are classic cases of barbarism and crimes of utmost savagery,” stated the 10 MLAs in a press statement on Thursday.
Urging the government of India to act with firmness and hand over these heinous cases and all the killings of Kuki-Zo people during the ongoing ethnic cleansing in Manipur, including the attack on our colleague MLA to Central Bureau Of Investigation and book all the culprits responsible at the earliest, the 10 Kuki-Zomi MLAs strongly condemned the acts of cruelty and savagery perpetrated by the Meitei militias against their fellow helpless, defenceless and innocent Kuki-Zo people.
The statement added that such numerous acts have equally shocked the conscience of our fellow Indians.