New Delhi, Aug 22: In what has created security and socio-political concerns in many quarters, an apex Naga body in Manipur has charged the Kuki tribals with spreading "blatant lies, lop-sided history" vis-a-vis the history of the people and land.
"The Nagas are also taken aback by the blatant lies, lop-sided history and fabricated information contained in every statement and memorandum issued by the Kuki-Zo community which is tantamount to distortion of Naga history and insult to the Naga people," the United Naga Council (UNC) said in a strongly worded statement.
"Do the Kukis speak with sense? Such wild venture will lead the Kukis to nowhere today and in future. It is sheer attempt to script bad history for unending enmity between us. As for an instance, it is an act of befooling them if the establishment of new villages in Kuki areas within Naga districts is stated to be for their displaced people of 1990s conflict being kept the fact of illegal immigrants hidden before those authorities," the UNC said.
The Naga body has also taken exception to the Congress government under Ibobi Singh creating "new districts in 2016" out of Senapati and Chandel and called these "the handiwork of the Congress government’s appeasement policy carried out in the name of administrative convenience".
"Hence the demand of separate administration which incorporates the so-called new two districts is necessarily opposed. The Nagas’ stand on the opposition remains unchanged," it said.
The sociologists and the government sources feel the emerging 'Naga-Kuki' conflicts in press statements and through various memorandums may not be 'advisable' as these two communities had clashed valiantly in the 1990s for months and there was almost nightmarish type experiences both in Nagaland and Manipur.
So far, the ongoing ethnic strife between Meiteis and Kukis did not involve Nagas who are in sizable numbers in Manipur.
An influential Kuki body, the Kuki Inpi Manipur, has charged the Meitei leadership and organisations of 'manufacturing' lies about the community.
“For instance, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and Meitei radical and extremist groups such as COCOMI did manufacture and spread lies about the Kukis. Although these anti-national elements know very well that the Indianness of Kukis is unquestionable, they doggedly pursue their agenda by fabricating facts, manufacturing narratives, and imposing all sorts of dictates with intimidation,” the Kuki body said in a memorandum.
The Naga body has on its part also dismissed the Kuki claim of the Anglo-Kuki War of 1917-19 and stated that "it was never a war but a mere rebellion with the colonial power as there is no record of Anglo-Kuki War in the history of India".
In fact, making things complicated, one organisation called The Federation of Haomee has lodged an FIR at Imphal West Police Station earlier this month against the author of the book,'The Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919', Retd. Col (Dr) Vijay Chenji and two Kuki-Zo academicians.
According to a local newspaper The Ukhrul Times, the FIR was filed for legal recourse in the interest of the State against the two JNU academicians and the author by Y. Vicisy Shimray of New Canaan Village, Ukhrul district, and others.
The FIR charges "waging war against the government of India, concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war, promoting enmity between different groups".
Sub-Inspector S. Basanta Singh, and ASI Th. Saratchandra Singh have been given the charge to investigate the case, the newspaper said.
All these imply that gradually the ongoing clash is drawing towards a likely conflict of interest between Nagas and Kukis.
In Manipur, the Kuki-Naga clashes allegedly started due to double standards of the Narasimha Rao government in the 1990s.
In fact, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has said that in Lok Sabha on August 9 that "in 1993, 700 people were killed in Naga-Kuki clashes".
The latest ethnic strife in Manipur between Meiteis and Kukis started on May 3 and the violence during last three months has claimed the lives of more than 150 people.
In his Independence Day address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that "the people of Manipur have maintained peace in the past few days, and they should continue to foster that peace, as it is the path to resolution. Both the state and central governments are working together to find solutions to the issues and will continue to do so".
It is also being presumed that left flabbergasted by Manipur violence, the Centre may be happy to note about new found Meitei-Naga bonhomie. Perhaps it it time now for Modi and Shah to redraw their strategy on Nagas
The Nagas and Meiteis had also clashed in 2000 when ceasefire with NSCN-IM was extended even in Manipur.
The Meiteis had taken this a threat to territorial integrity of the state of Manipur. (IANS)