Harrowing tales of survivors mark 2nd day of Sahnit-Ni
CCPUR,12th Sep: Photo exhibition, presentation of chronological events and harrowing tales of survivors marked the second day of Kuki Black Day locally known as Sahnit-Ni observance at Kuki Inpi Churachandpur office premises on Wednesday.
One among many survivors who narrated their ordeals at the main observance venue was Lamkhosiem. According to Lamkhosiem, many Kuki brothers including him wore women garment to escape from NSCN-IM cadres at Toloulon and Buhning villages in Tamenglong district. But many Kuki boys who were also women's attires to escape from the area were nabbed by NSCN-IM cadres and killed mercilessly. Initially, NSCN-IM issued deadline to the Kukis to leave their respective villages before August 15, 1993. Accordingly, Kukis settling in the area started leaving their respective villages from August 13 but they were hunted down by NSCN-IM cadres. Some girls were saved on certain conditions but many boys aged around 7/8 years ran away in the forest.
Another survivor namely Lhunkhokai Chongloi from Thingphai village said that NSCN-IM first set up camps nearby their village. Fearing possible reprisal, villagers built a castle surrounding their villages. On August 6, 1993, NSCN-IM started attacking Kuki villagers from 3.30am using sophisticated weapons. When Kuki villagers retaliated, an intense gun-battle ensured till 9.10am the same day. However, the villagers succumbed to the attack and their villages were burnt down, he recalled, while adding that he managed to flee from the area though many Kukis were killed.
On the second day, Black Day messages were given by many people including KIM political affairs secretary Sohminthang Doungel. The KIM leader talked about the reason why they remained subdued by others in their ancestral land which was clearly defined by the British.
Meanwhile, information department of Sahnit-NI observance committee appealed to all people including district level officers to show solidarity by observing one-minute silence at the main venue. The committee also appealed to school authorities and shop owners and businessmen to show their solidarity and join the observance on the last day. The committee also extended its gratitude to district traffic police for cooperation and preventing traffic congestion.