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Manipur: Kuki-Zo Community Calls for AFSPA Reinstatement in Valley Areas

In a show of discontentment, the Kuki-Zo community, organized under the Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU), held a rally at Sadar Hills Kangpokpi district in Manipur. The demonstration was a response to the Manipur assembly’s resolution to revoke the Suspension of Operations (SoO) agreement with Kuki groups. Additionally, the community demanded the reinstatement of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the valley areas of Manipur.

Voicing Displeasure and Demands

During the rally, participants energetically chanted slogans such as “Democracy not Autocracy,” “Re-impose AFSPA in the valley,” and “SoO not appeasement policy for Meiteis.” The community expressed dissatisfaction with the Manipur State Assembly’s resolution and urged for a renewed focus on the law and order situation in Imphal.

In conjunction with the rally, CoTU announced a 24-hour total shutdown starting on Monday (March 04) and concluding on March 05. This resulted in the closure of all shops, educational institutions, offices, and private establishments in the district, except for vehicular movement along the highway.

Kaiminlen Sitlhou, the spokesperson for CoTU, addressed the media during the event, emphasizing the community’s stance. He stated that the shutdown and rally aimed to protest the Manipur State Assembly’s resolution to revoke the SoO agreement with the Kuki-Zo groups. Sitlhou asserted that addressing the current law and order situation in Imphal should take precedence over the SoO, highlighting the need for AFSPA in the valley districts.

The rally concluded peacefully, thanks to vigilant efforts by the Kangpokpi police to prevent potential violent incidents. The Kuki-Zo community’s collective expression of discontent underscores the complexities surrounding security measures and agreements in Manipur.

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