Context: The tribal organisation is being accused of trying to start a conflict against the Indian government after they declared their own government within Manipur.
Details about news:
- The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) in Manipur has become important due to ongoing tensions between the Kuki and Meitei communities.
- The ITLF’s general secretary, Muan Tombing, was accused of trying to start a war against the Indian government after announcing plans for a separate administration.
- The ITLF is made up of tribal councils and leaders from recognized tribes in Churachandpur district.
- The controversy stems from disagreements over historical inscriptions and government actions, such as the “war on drugs 2.0” and evictions, which have primarily affected the Kuki-Zomi people.
- The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity suggests a desire for a separate administration, while the ITLF clarifies that it seeks self-rule within the Indian Constitution to address past injustices and ensure the welfare of tribal communities.
About Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF):
- The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) in Manipur is a group of tribal leaders representing tribes in the Churachandpur district.
- They have requested the separation of the hill areas, which are primarily inhabited by indigenous tribes, from the rest of the state.
- The ITLF has submitted a petition to the former CRPF chief, who is now the security advisor to the Manipur government, expressing their inability to live peacefully with the dominant Meiteis and accusing them of committing continuous atrocities and displaying hatred towards tribal people.
What is the cause of the violence in Manipur?
- Manipur has been experiencing unrest since February 2023 due to the state government’s eviction drive, which was perceived as targeting a particular tribal group. Although protests occurred, they were not as large-scale as the recent ones.
- The recent wave of protests emerged as a result of the Manipur High Court’s directive to the State, urging them to enforce a suggestion that had been put forward a decade ago, which entailed granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Meitei community, who are non-tribal in nature.
- This particular ruling has further intensified the ongoing and deep-rooted tensions between the Meitei community, who predominantly reside in the valley region, and the various indigenous hill tribes residing within the state.
- The All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) orchestrated a demonstration known as the ‘tribal solidarity march’ in protest of a ruling by the High Court. This event sparked widespread violence and confrontations in multiple locations throughout Manipur.