Imphal, May 29: The Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) on Monday slammed Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh for holding Kuki militants responsible for Manipur violence.
Speaking to media persons, Ginza Vualjong, spokesperson of Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum said, “Recently, the chief minister of Manipur N Biren Singh claimed that 33 Kuki militants were killed in the encounter. We would like to clarify that no Kuki militant was involved in the crisis. All the militants are in the designated camp, they are in SOO agreement, not participated in the fight. (Those fighting) are the villagers, we call them village defender volunteers.”
He claimed that over 500 villages have been burnt and more than 100 people killed and 250 churches destroyed. He reasoned that it is the duty of the villagers to defend the remaining villages, which they have been doing with their licensed guns as they fear getting attacked.
“We are aware that the attacks are coming from the valleys are the Meitei undergrounds wearing police uniform. It is clear that the valley militants are involved in the attack. The CM N.Biren Singh claimed that the Kuki militant involved in the violence is baseless,” he further alleged.
He said the villagers are not offensive but only defending themselves from the people who are attacking them. “The Meitei community comes in 30 trucks with sophisticated weapons and automatic weapons. We don’t have any other option. We have to defend ourselves from the outsiders. I like to clear that we don’t attack anyone; if anyone attacks us, we have to defend ourselves,” said Vualjong.