Kuki groups end 2-month long NH-2 blockade in Manipur following Amit Shah’s appeal, marking a turning point in the state’s peace efforts amidst the recent violence

Kuki groups

Kuki Groups Lift Blockade on NH-2 in Manipur After Amit Shah’s Appeal

Manipur, India – In a significant development, the United Peoples’ Front (UPF) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO), two umbrella Kuki organizations, have decided to end the two-month long blockade on National Highway 2 (NH-2) in Manipur’s Kangpokpi district. The decision came in response to an appeal made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

In a joint statement, the UPF and KNO expressed their gratitude towards the Home Minister for his sincere efforts to restore peace and harmony in Manipur. The lifting of the blockade marks a crucial step forward in the state’s ongoing peace initiatives amidst the recent wave of violence.

However, the Committee on Tribal Unity (COTU), a Kuki civil society group that had initiated the roadblock on NH-2 two months ago, has not yet officially withdrawn its agitation.

Manipur, with two national highways – NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur) and NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam), has been grappling with the aftermath of violence that erupted on May 3. The Kuki organizations had been blocking NH-2 since then, although it was temporarily opened during Shah’s visit at the end of May.

According to sources, the decision to lift the blockade came after a recent meeting between the UPF, KNO, and other Kuki groups with Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati. Extensive consultations with civil society organizations, village chiefs, and women leaders played a crucial role in the decision-making process, as stated in the joint statement.

Ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur has resulted in over 100 casualties. The Meiteis, constituting about 53% of Manipur’s population, predominantly reside in the Imphal Valley, while the Nagas and Kukis, accounting for 40% of the population, inhabit the hill districts.

The UPF and KNO acknowledged their earlier meeting with the Home Minister, during which they appealed for increased security in the vulnerable villages located in the bordering and foothill areas. They expressed appreciation for the deployment of central forces in most of these areas, as assured by the government. The statement highlighted that the process of deploying central forces is currently underway.

Once the deployment of central forces is completed in all vulnerable areas, the Kuki groups have committed to withdrawing their volunteers from those places, aiming to contribute to the restoration of peace and tranquility in the region.

In their closing remarks, the UPF and KNO appealed to all peace-loving organizations and citizens of Manipur to reciprocate their gesture and take collective steps towards fostering peace and communal harmony within the state.

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