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FIR Against Kuki Students' Body Over Questioning Security Officers' Ethnicity

Security forces in Manipur have been working hard to bring normalcy

New Delhi/Imphal:

A police case has been filed in Manipur against the Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) for allegedly “publishing fake news to support Kuki terrorists and defame the central and state security forces”.

The first information report (FIR) filed today with Imphal West police station alleged the KSO in their press statement on Wednesday cast aspersions on “Manipur Police commandos and the Indian Army, who are actively involved in bringing normalcy to Manipur”.

In the KSO statement attached with the FIR, a copy of which is with NDTV, the students’ group said, “…It is shocking that the Meetei/Meitei officers in the Indian Army joined the perpetrators on several occasions.”

The FIR said the KSO’s attempt was to “malign and demoralise state police forces, the Indian Army, especially the BSF (Border Security Force)… The said accused organisation and its members have wilfully compromised the security, safety and well-being of the army officers and their family members, thereby directly obstructing army officers to unconditionally serve the country without any fear or favour.”

The FIR comes days after the Indian Army’s Spear Corps in a tweet warned against spreading disinformation linked to the ethnic composition in the defence forces.

“All ranks of the Indian Army are race, caste, creed and gender agnostic. Fair to all and fear none,” the Spear Corps tweeted on June 1, warning against revealing the details of officers of a particular community posted in Manipur.

A police complaint has also been filed against a YouTube channel called “Pocket TV Network” for allegedly spreading fake news about links between Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Arambai Tengol, a civil society group that faces allegations of attacking Kukis.

On May 29, the Manipur government warned people against spreading fake news and misinformation on social media amid the sensitive law and order situation in the state. In an order, the Manipur government said “generation or spreading of wrong information will amount to sedition.”

The police complaint said the video by Pocket TV Network and Uncle Tvision is fake news meant to “tarnish and defame” the Chief Minister and other leaders.

The KSO is yet to respond to the allegations made in the FIR.

The Kuki tribe today pressed on with their demand for creating of a separate administration. The Kuki Inpi Manipur, the top body of the tribe, wrote a letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, alleging the violence in Manipur “was a pre-planned ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kukis by the majority Meiteis”.

“During a recent interview to the media, the Meitei Leepun chief Pramot Singh made a damning revelation that he and his organisation were in the know about genocide being planned against the Kuki people,” Kuki Inpi Manipur General Secretary Khaikhoradh Gangte said, referring to the rival civil society group which it accuses of attacking tribals.

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The army and state security forces are patrolling round the clock in Manipur to bring normalcy

A week after violence started in Manipur on May 3, at least 10 tribal MLAs, including seven from the ruling BJP, demanded a separate administration, saying they cannot co-exist with the Meiteis anymore.

The Home Ministry today sanctioned a Rs 101.75 crore relief package for internally displaced people in Manipur. Home Minister Amit Shah, during his four-day visit to Manipur, had asked the state government to send a proposal for a relief package. Currently, some 37,450 people from different communities are being sheltered in 272 relief camps, including community halls, in 13 districts of Manipur.

The immediate cause of the crisis was the protest by the Kuki tribe, who are settled in the hills, against the valley-majority Meiteis’ demand for inclusion under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category, India’s affirmative action policy.

The army is conducting surprise checks on the Manipur camps of insurgent groups that have signed the ‘suspension of operations’, or SoO, agreement with the centre and the state government.

Over 25 Kuki insurgent groups have signed the SoO agreement, under which they are to be confined to designated camps identified by the government and the weapons kept in locked storage, regularly monitored.

Ethnic clashes between the Meiteis and the Kukis have led to allegations that insurgents have broken SoO rules and rearmed themselves.



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