Amidst escalating tensions in Manipur, influential Kuki-Zo groups have called upon the central government to withdraw state police forces from the hills and reintroduce the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in the valley areas.
The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) and the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), representing the Kuki tribes, initiated a 24-hour shutdown to protest against alleged atrocities by state forces and demand their removal from Kuki-Zo districts, as reported by NDTV.
The tribal bodies have specifically requested Home Minister Amit Shah to remove state forces, particularly commandos, from the border town of Moreh and adjoining tribal-majority settlements.
They argue that peace cannot prevail as long as state forces are stationed in the region.
Additionally, the CoTU and ITLF urged the immediate reimposition of AFSPA in the entire valley, empowering the Indian Army to address the volatile situation.
Manipur, marred by ethnic violence in 2023, is witnessing renewed tensions following recent violent incidents.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh expressed deep concern over the situation, warning that those contributing to tensions would be held accountable for potential stringent government actions, including the reimposition of AFSPA.
The ethnic clashes were erupted on 3 May, triggered by a "Tribal Solidarity March" opposing the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe status.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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