KNO threat to abrogate peace
WITH uncountable number of Kuki families yet to recover or are simply unwilling to forget the shocking experience of seeing their near and dear ones shot and bludgeoned mercilessly to death for no fault of theirs during the tumultuous Naga-Kuki clash in the 1990s, the Kuki National Organisation (KNO) president PS Haokip threatening to take up arms again during the Kuki Black Day observance speech at Churachandpur town was on expected lines. In the backdrop of various Kuki organisations unrelenting from their demand that justice should be delivered to those massacred by cadres and activists of the NSCN-IM, in what was technically ethnic cleansing as a means to realise the outfit’s agenda for creation of Greater Nagalim, it was obvious that PS Haokip would not differ from the general sentiment of the Kuki public. If fact, Kuki armed groups were formed to protect their own people from further atrocities in the aftermath of the clinical elimination of whoever came in the way of the NSCN-IM or were seen as obstacles to the stated goal of the perpetrators. Having carried out the alleged Kuki genocide with military precision within few years and the powerful Naga rebel group understandably preferring to remain in low profile after formal start of the political dialogue with the Union government in pursuance of the same political, almost all Kuki insurgent organisations too shunned violence with the hope that engaging in talks with the government would be more productive than pulling the trigger. As the imminent armed showdown was supposed to be between two ethnic groups who knew each other inside out, leaders of both communities choosing the path of peace was viewed as sane decisions for sticking to their guns might have resulted in loss of many more innocent precious lives.
Consequently, the outfits signed agreement with the government on certain points in pursuance of their political goal. However, with their demand for justice to the slain persons, that is to see top leaders of NSCN-IM, general secretary Th Muivah in particular, stand trial for the sin yet to make any substantial headway but sensing the perpetrating group cruising along in their search for their cherished objective, PS Haokip must have been compelled to vent his angst against the government. Though his threat to return to the jungles may not have many takers simply because no section of the society wants bloodshed, the underlying frustration over the protracted talks seemingly leading to nowhere could be one of the reasons for such unprecedented declaration by leader of an armed organisation at a public gathering. Apart from armed groups, most of which are now bound by the agreement to cease hostility with government forces, Kuki civil societies have been making it a point to rake up the Kuki genocide pangs as and when reports surface about any development in the political parleys between the Union government and the NSCN-IN. Such instances send out a clear message that Kukis will not waver from their stand that justice should be delivered to them at all cost. The reasons and immediate motivations that are responsible for the existing conflicts cannot be undermined in any circumstance. Various realities are still rotting in the shadows which demand attention of the government in order to derive prolific solutions so that the hard-earned peace between the two major ethnic communities settling as neighbours could be further sustained.