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Manipur tribal body protests against transfer of 100 Kuki-Zo cops to Meitei-majority areas

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Imphal, Feb 23 (IANS) A leading Manipur tribal body on Friday strongly protested against the transfer of more than 100 Kuki-Zo tribal police personnel to Meitei-majority areas, and sought the intervention of Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the matter.The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), an apex body of tribals in Manipur, wrote to Amit Shah seeking his intervention in the transfer of Kuki-Zo police personnel in the Meitei-dominated areas.Senior ITLF leader and spokesman Ginza Vualzong said that given the prevailing situation, such transfers are unacceptable.“It requires them (Kuki-Zo cops) to travel to Meitei-inhabited districts, and if they survive the journey, they will be stationed with mostly Meitei police personnel. In other words, this is a death sentence for these policemen as the government cannot guarantee their safety,” Vualzong said.The ITLF, in its letter to Amit Shah, urged the minister to immediately intervene to stop the execution of this “discriminatory order” issued by the Manipur DGP.It said the violence in Manipur has led to a mass exchange of population on ethnic lines, leading to a complete physical separation of communities.“Thousands of Kuki-Zo tribals recall how they barely survived being lynched by mobs in the state capital and its adjoining valley areas, as they fled to army camps or to the jungle seeking safety. The unlucky ones were lynched on the streets or in their homes by merciless mobs led by the militant groups,” the letter said.It added that the Central and state security forces personnel belonging to the Kuki-Zo community are not safe either.“This resulted in all tribal police personnel being evacuated to the tribal districts. A recent incident, where three tribal security personnel who were trying to report for duty in Moirang were beaten up mercilessly by a Meitei mob before they were rescued by the Central security forces, serves as a reminder of the danger faced by the Kuki-Zo community,” read the ITLF letter to the Home Minister.The ethnic trouble between the non-tribal Meitei and tribal Kuki-Zo communities broke out on May 3 last year. So far, the ethnic violence has claimed over 200 lives and injured 1,500 others, besides displacing over 70,000 people belonging to both the communities.–IANSsc/arm

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