- This is because the government has been taking action against illegal poppy farmers and burning poppy fields in forest land, especially in protected and reserve forests.
- Several Kuki-Chin militant groups live in the hilly, forested Churachandpur area in the southern part of Manipur, which is next to Myanmar and Mizoram.
Large meetings have been banned in Churachandpur, Manipur, and mobile internet services have been shut down because of violence before Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s visit on Friday. In southern Churachandpur, the situation stayed tight because “miscreants” set fire to the place where the Chief Minister is going to speak at a meeting today.
Late Thursday night, a police officer said that the Chief Minister is going to visit the hill area on Friday and that chairs and other things were set on fire at the venue.
Senior police officers and backup have rushed to the scene to get control of the situation. In the area, orders were given under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to stop anything bad from happening there.
The Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has called for an eight-hour shutdown to start at 8 a.m. on Friday in the Churachandpur district to protest the state government’s plan to kick people out of protected and reserve woods.
In a statement, the ITLF said that they had sent the state government several letters voicing their concerns and worries about the government’s survey of reserve forests and protected forests, wetlands and wildlife, and the eviction of villagers.
On March 10, tribal people held protests against the state government over this issue in three districts. The protests were joined by Kuki militants, who were also said to be tribal people.
Five people were hurt when a peaceful protest went violent in three districts: Churachandpur, Kangpokpi, and Tengnoupal.
The protests were held because the state government was cracking down on growing poppies and taking over forest land.
The state government of Manipur tore down three churches at the beginning of this month, saying that the churches were “illegally built.”
After the events of March 10, the Manipur government pulled out of the tripartite talks and suspension of operations (SoO) signed with three Kuki militant groups: the Kuki National Army (KNA), the Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA), and the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA). The Union Home Ministry has not yet given its approval to the state government’s decision.
It was also said that members of the KNA, ZRA, and KRA are trying to get poppy farmers in the state to fight against the government. This is because the government has been taking action against illegal poppy farmers and burning poppy fields in forest land, especially in protected and reserve forests.
But a group that represents all of the Kuki groups has denied the claims.
Several Kuki-Chin militant groups live in the hilly, forested Churachandpur area in the southern part of Manipur, which is next to Myanmar and Mizoram.
On August 22, 2008, the Centre and the government of Manipur signed the tripartite deal and SoO with the three militant groups.