Committee justifies inscription
IMPHAL, 14th Oct: Terming the state government’s order against stone inscription of Anglo-Kuki War commemoration as very unfortunate, Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee has demanded immediate withdrawal of the order and warned that the state government shall be responsible for any untoward incident occurred when already laid stone inscriptions are removed.
According to committee spokesperson Jangmang Haokip, the decision to commemorate 100th year of Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 for three years was arrived at during a joint meeting also attended by leaders of Kuki Inpi. Accordingly, the first year of the centenary observance was held in Chandel district in 2017 and the second year at Churachandpur in 2018. The joint meeting also decided to celebrate the final commemoration event at the place where Kuki fighters were buried and accordingly this year’s main event is being planned at Aisan village in Kangpokpi district. However, Tangkhul Naga Long submitted a memorandum to the chief minister highlighting their opposition to installation of memorial stones with the inscription 'in defence of our ancestral land and freedom' in connection with the centenary celebration. Kuki Inpi had already issued a clarification in this regard and the matter was also discussed with the chief minister resulting in a collective understanding. Later, a meeting with chief secretary and DGP was held wherein the committee was asked if there is any harm in removing the inscription from memorial stones. However, the committee insisted that the inscription is not against any community but for entire people of the land and there was no claim that the land saved by Kuki forefathers belonged to the community, Jangmang Haokip said, adding that the decision to erect memorial stones was taken to remember selfless sacrifices made by Kuki forefathers.
Addressing media persons at Manipur Press Club here Monday, Jangmang Haokip said that the state home department’s order to remove already laid memorial stones surprised Kuki people and state government shall be held responsible for any untoward incident arisen out of attempts to remove the stones. He also declared that the Kukis will boycott Shirui Festival in protest against government’s order and also against some Naga organisations which submitted memorandum to the CM against the commemoration event.
Kuki Inpi president Khaimang Chongloi, who was also present at the press conference, said that Kuki Inpi is a traditional government of the Kuki people but the organisation works with firm commitment of communal harmony and justice to all. He maintained that there is nothing communal in the words 'in defence of our ancestral land and freedom' inscribed on memorial stones of Anglo Kuki War centenary celebration and no attempt has been made to claim that the land saved by Kuki forefathers belong to the Kuki people.