Bandhs by Kukis, Nagas set to cripple Manipur

IMPHAL: The Kukis have called a 48-hour general strike from August 13 midnight demanding the creation of a separate 'Kuki state' by carving out the Kuki-inhabited portion of Manipur. The Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) on Wednesday said the general strike will be effective in the Kuki-inhabited areas of the state.

Prior to the Kukis' bandh, Manipur will witness another bandh by the Nagas. The United Naga Council (UNC), too, called a series of agitations, including a 48-hour general strike, from August 11 midnight in protest against the Centre's failure to hold the sixth round of tripartite talk on their demand for an alternative administrative arrangement for Naga-inhabited areas in Manipur.

The KSDC, an umbrella body of several Kuki organizations and village chiefs, said it will stop all government projects undertaken in 'Kuki areas' during the stir.

"Our demand is Kuki statehood, nothing more, nothing less. We will continue our movement till Kuki statehood is achieved," said KSDC information and publicity secretary George Kuki on Wednesday, while appealing all to support the bandh to avoid any untoward incident.

The KSDC has also been demanding the Centre to hold political dialogue with 20 Kuki militant outfits that are signatories to the ongoing Suspension of Operation (Soo) with the government. The Kuki militants are also demanding a separate Kuki state.

The KSDC's proposed 'Kuki State' map encompasses Kuki-inhabited areas covering around 65 per cent of the entire Manipur spread over five hill districts - Churachandpur, Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglong and Ukhrul.

Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Senapati and Chandel are however Naga-majority districts.

On the other hand, the UNC said the non-receipt of response from the Centre for holding the 6th round of tripartite talks involving the Centre, the state government and the Nagas on the demand for an alternative arrangement for Naga areas outside the state government was discussed in its meeting last Monday.

The fifth round tripartite talks was held at Senapati on February 12 this year.


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