Manipur: Kuki tribe demands justice for 1993 ‘genocide’, observes ‘black day’

Thousands of Kukis from different parts including from Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Myanmar came together at the complex and paid homage to the victims of the ethnic clash.

THE KUKI National Organisation (KNO), an umbrella group of 17 armed groups of
the Kuki tribe, has urged the central government to settle the issue of “Kuki Genocide” perpetrated by the NSCN-IM before striking a deal with the Naga militants. The KNO, which is one of the two umbrella groups under a tripartite ceasefire agreement with the governments, also warned that the outcome of the Indo-Naga peace deal should not affect Kuki territory.

“The Central government should settle the issue of the Kuki first or simultaneously and stop giving undue attention to the Naga militant for they are the perpetrators,” said Dr Seilen Haokip, spokesperson of the KNO.

Claiming that the Kuki tribe has been marginalized, Haokip said, “the Kukis should be given the opportunity to live with dignity along with its Nagas and Meiteis brothers as the history of the Kukis is intrinsically tied with this land (Manipur).”

“Justice should be done for all concerned and not just Naga but the Kukis and Meiteis without which there cannot be peaceful co-existence”, he added.

“Although the content of the framework agreement is unknown, it is obvious that it intends to bring a solution to the Naga issues. But, in doing so, the Kuki territory should not be affected,” he warned.

On Tuesday three monoliths, inscribed with the names of 1157 persons who were victims of the “Kuki genocide” were erected at Kuki Inpi Churachandpur complex, in Tuibong, Churachandpur district.

On September 13, 1993, as many as 115 Kuki villagers including women and children were allegedly killed by the armed cadres of the NSCN-IM in a single day in different places of Tamenglong and the erstwhile Senapati district known as “Joupi Massacre”.

Today marks 25 years since the massacre, the tribe has been observing ‘SAHNIT-NI’ (Kuki Black Day) in remembrance of the victims killed during the ethnic clash starting from 1992 to 1997.  It is organised for three days starting from September 11.

Thousands of Kukis from different parts including from Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Myanmar came together at the complex and paid homage to the victims of the ethnic clash.

The ceremony began with a mass prayer in honour of the victims of the ethnic clash which was followed by the traditional gun salute and floral tribute by victims’ families, tribe leaders, elders etc.

According to Letzamang Haokip, chairman of the Black Day committee, the ‘genocide’ saw more than 350 villages scorched and more than a thousand innocent Kukis massacred, including many women, children, the aged and the infirm. This led to internal displacement of more than one lakh Kukis of Manipur, he said.

“We have been demanding justice for a long time. Even after 25 years of the infamous Joupi massacre, both the Government of India and the Manipur Government have done nothing to rehabilitate the Kukis to their ancestral home. Instead, the Government reasons with culprits of genocide and threatened the very existence of the Kukis as loyal, he lamented.

He opined that the Kukis will not remain a silent spectator and take a tough stand if the government continuing to ignore the demand of the Kukis.

~ The Indian Express, 2018-09-11

Kukis observe black day on killings

IMPHAL — The Kuki community gathered at Manipur's Churachandpur district to observe the 25th anniversary of Sahnit-Ni or Kuki Black Day, pledging to fight for justice for those who were allegedly killed in the genocide by NSCN (I-M) rebels during 1992-1997.

To begin the three-day observation of black day, three monoliths (Lum song), inscribed with the names of 1,157 people who were victims of the genocide, were unveiled at Kuki Inpi Churachandpur Complex, Tuibong on Tuesday.

The monoliths were unveiled with cultural salutes and floral tributes.

The NSCN (I-M) is engaged in talks with the Centre for lasting peace in Nagaland. Sources said talks based on the Naga framework agreement in 2015 is at an advanced stage.

The mass gathering pledged to uphold the cause of sacrifice made by thousands of Kukis and ensure justice to them, to defend and secure Kuki ancestral land, to uphold peace, justice and human rights in Kuki fatherland, to oppose all forces of hatred and greed that endanger peace, to prevent bloodshed in Kuki land to promote progress, prosperity and peaceful co-existence with others.

The organisers, Kuki Black Day (Sahnit-Ni) Committee, said on September 13, 1993, the NSCN (I-M) massacred more than 115 innocent Kuki villagers at Gelnel, Santing, Nungthut and Joupi.

It was the darkest day in the history of the Kukis. Kuki people around the world decided to observe September 13 as Kuki Black Day until justice is brought to the victims of the genocide, it added.

September 13 is chosen as a day of mourning, prayer, retrospection and introspection by the Kukis over those who lost their lives to the NSCN (I-M) during its infamous ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kukis, said Letzamang Haokip, chairman of the committee.

"The NSCN (I-M) claimed part of Kuki ancestral territory for its Nagalim and started an ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kukis. Its inhuman and barbaric campaign against the Kukis caused the massacre of 1,157 lives of innocent Kukis, destruction and eviction of more than 360 Kuki villages, and the displacement of more than 1.5 lakh Kuki population from their ancestral home, who still remain homeless and destitute. Even after 25 years of the infamous Joupi massacre, both the Centre and the Manipur government have done nothing to rehabilitate and resettle the Kukis. Instead, the government reasons with the culprits of genocide which has threatened the very existence of the Kukis as loyal citizens of India," he said.

~ The Telegraph, 2018-09-12

‘Sahnit’ (Kuki Black Day) to be observed for three days in Churachandpur

CHURACHANDPUR — Information secretary of Kuki Black Day Observation Committee, Lalkhohau Haokip said that his team will be organising a three-day observation of 25th Anniversary of Kuki Black Day starting from tomorrow and asked cooperation from all sections.

He was addressing the media in a press conference called by the committee at Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), Churachandpur office located at Tuibong.

Lalkhohau said the committee has asked other organisations not to have other programmes that would coincide on September 11, 12 and 13. He said that three memorial stones which have epitaphs of more than 1000 Kuki martyrs will be unveiled on September 11 at 10:30 am. He also asked all the churches to pray for the success of the observation and added that there is no such thing as bandh but asked all to come in spite of their daily jobs.

A separate press advisory signed by the chairman and secretary of the ‘Sahnit’ (Black Day) committee stated that the Kuki tribes all over the world will be observing the Kuki Black Day on September 13, however it will be observed for three days starting from September 11 at Churachandpur.

September 13 marks the darkest day in Kuki history, when NSCN (IM) cadres slaughtered more than 115 innocent Kuki civilians as part of their ethnic cleansing drive on Kuki villages in 1993. The carnage pogrom of NSCN (IM) took place in between 1992-1997, it added.

In the genocide, more than 350 villages were scorched and more than thousand innocent Kukis were massacred, including women, children, aged and infirmed persons, by using hatchets and spears. The massacre led to the internal displacement of more than one lakh Kukis of Manipur. Since then, the Kukis have been observing the tragic day wherever they are with elegy and prayer for justice. This year, the Kukis are also taking a pledge to uphold human rights, to continue the fight for justice and to secure their land and rights, stated the press advisory.

It also mentioned that today the Kukis are asking the Central government, “Why is the government denying justice to Kukis over the killing of more than 1000 Kuki citizens of India?”, “Why no action has been taken up against the perpetrator of Kuki genocide, Th. Muivah, but engaged in talks?”, “Why is the government turning a blind eye to Kuki genocide and a deaf ear to the appeal of Kukis for justice?” and “Why is the state and the Centre not heeding Kukis’ demands for securing their safety and dignity through self-governance of their

~ The Imphal Free Press, 2018-09-11

3 days Black Day at CCpur

CCPUR The 25th year of 'Sahnit' Kuki Black Day which falls on September 13 will be observed for three days in Churachandpur as the organising committee gears up to erect a memorial stone inscribed with over 1000 Kukis who were killed in the genocide.

A souvenir containing the narratives of survivors of the 'Kuki Genocide,' write up on the accounts of witnesses and seeking justice will also be released.

The organising committee today issued a clarion call to Kukis, young and old to be united in love and join them as they seek justice for the victims and remembered those who were killed in the alleged NSCN-IM sponsored genocide.

Haojakam Chongloi, former president KIM; Khorsing Teron, chairman JACAS, Diphu Assam; Ongyun Mioa, secretary Singpho Development Society will unveil the memorial stone while Sangkawia, president ZoRO Ghq will release the souvenir on the first day.

On the second day, exhibition of poetries, chronological events and photos of those killed will be held.

On the main day, Thangkhosei Haokip, president KIM along with PS Haokip, president KNO and Rev S Prim Vaiphei will deliver the Sahnit message.

Rev Dr T Lunkim, Nampi-Pa will pray for the Kukis across the globe while the president KIM will lead the Black Day Declaration.

~ The Sangai Express, 2018-09-07



THE 2nd of SEPTEMBER 1992 was an auspicious occasion for the family of D. Touthang of Moltuh village, who took his children to their maternal parents, a Kuki tradition called Naopui, wherein the maternal parents pray for and bless the children so brought to them. The headlines in the news next day of Mr. Doukhosei Touthang and his Family numbering six including a 2 year old child, being massacred on their way from Moltuh Village to Aisan village, sent a wave of shock, anger and a feeling of insecurity amongst the Kukis.

The news of the murder of a Kuki village chief and his aide the following day and another news of 2 Kuki men found death, hand tied and head chopped off, which later became a trademark for the NSCN IM killings, and the murder of 2 Kuki school going children, all in a span of 2 days confirmed what was dreaded. The NSCN IM has finally made their agenda public which they have had since the 1960s, of grabbing the lands and lives of the Kukis. Quit notices were served and taxes levied to the Kukis in their own land!

The deadline served to the Kukis to leave their ancestral lands and homes in Tamenglong District was 15-09-93 The Kuki men who had left everything but their family as ordered were stopped mid way, blindfolded, paraded and slaughtered. All but two escaped, who'd later testify the inhumane acts of the NSCN IM. One Hundred and eight innocent men were mercilessly butchered on the 13th of September 1993 alone.

More than 900 innocent Kukis were murdered and tens of thousands rendered homeless by this evil design infamously known as "ethnic cleansing of the Kukis by the NSCN IM" .

Since then, the Kukis have observed this 13th day of September as a day of mourning- Kuki Black Day. It is a way of giving tribute to the departed souls, whose lives were taken just because they were Kukis and to seek justice for the irreparable loss of thousands rendered homeless, hundreds orphaned and hundreds Widowed Kukis.

Nothing has been done by the concerned authorities to the perpetrators of the Kuki genocide. There can be no second guesses on who these armed infiltrators who massacred the Kukis were, after many eye witnesses accounts, mostly of women and survivors, vividly testified the identities, language spoken and the outlook and numbers which resembled only one group, the NSCN IM.

This is a common fact known to all but the judiciary so far failed to acknowledge this crucial point in their non-enthusiastic approach for fool proof evidence to punish the perpetrators and thence simply dismissed the same as inter ethnic differences.

The so-called ethnic clash was not an ethnic clash. It was an evil design by an armed group to cleanse the Kukis in its entirety and grab their lands to stake claim for greater Nagaland. It was a merciless attack on defenseless innocent Kukis. The Kukis after having lost hundreds of innocents and thousands of their houses burnt down in defense might have caused few casualties, but to term that as ethnic differences would be to overlook the hidden agenda of cleansing the Kuki community by the Manipur Naga ultras.

When armed infiltrators attacked Buning Kuki village, the militants, after having burnt down the entire village, separated children on the basis of gender and all the male children were inhumanely killed - children thrown up in the air and speared; children tied to trees and arrow shots practiced on them, to name a few.

According to Vahnu, now residing in Saparmeina, she could save her two sons then a 2-years old and a 3 months boy by dressing them as baby girls! This selective killing of male childs has its obvious impacts on the Kukis, whose agrarian household economy depended majorly on a male earning member of the family. It was designed so to be.

One thing which still baffles the survivors is the fact that before every attack on a Kuki village, an operation would be conducted by state security forces where not only all licensed arms would be collected but it was made sure the village was without any protective objects whether licensed or country made. The stage was usually set for an easy attack.

The then Manipur Govt. under Rishang Keishing had faced flaks from various quarters on this particular issue. The Kuki Innpi Sadar Hills president, Pu Lalkhohen khongsai in the State Govt initiated talks with UNC at MBC, Dewlahlane 1993 had strongly voiced this issue and the double sidedness of UNC in preaching peace in medias, but in reality continuing their merciless massacre on the Kukis in cohorts with the NSCN IM.

Not surprisingly, just few minutes after the said meeting, the Kuki Innpi Sadar Hills president was pulled down from his bus by 5 armed youths, speaking in Tangkhul language as per eye witnesses and his mutilated body with hundred and eleven cuts and wounds was found a day later. Thousand similar tales to tell of those time!

Twenty-five years down the line, many things have changed politically, socially and economically but justice for the 1000 Kukis remained a distant dream. The Kuki Innpi is unveiling a monolith on the 13th of September at Churachandpur, with all the victims name of the NSCN pogram embossed on it.

It is not an endeavour to seed enmity between the Kukis and Manipur Naga communities, rather it is a noble act of remembering the Kuki bravehearts in whose death the Kukis of today has an unifying cause to stand together as one.

While few are apprehensive about Kuki Black Day being observed, it is the general feeling of most of the Kukis that, it is more of a day of remembrance than vengeance, more of a day of love than hatred and most importantly it is day of Unity for the Kukis!

~ T.S Haokip
 (The views expressed are personal. This blog/admin has no responsibility.)


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