Four Naga tribes on 'Anglo-Kuki War' issue

Newmai News Network

Imphal | October 13

Even as certain sections of the people are planning to organise programmes christened as "Commemoration of Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19" on October 17, the Inpui Naga Union, Manipur (INU-M), Liangmai Naga Council, Manipur (LNC-M), Rongmei Naga Council, Manipur (RNC-M) and Zeme Naga Council, Manipur (ZNC-M) have dismissed that "Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919 never happened in the history of Manipur or anywhere". 

Therefore, in a joint statement, the INU, LNC-M, RNC-M and ZNC-M "called upon the people of Manipur to closely watch over the sinister design hatched by Kuki brothers and planning to commemorate the 'Anglo-Kuki War' which never happened in the history of Manipur." The four apex Naga tribe organisations then urged the the people of Manipur to "stop it once and for all."

The four Naga tribe organisations also called upon the State Government of Manipur and the concerned district authorities to stop the "sinister design" of the organisers of the "so called Commemoration of Anglo-Kuki War." The joint statement termed it as a "blatant lie."

Cautioning that unwanted development may resurface any time in the hill areas of Manipur if such "provocations" are allowed to carry out in the Naga ancestral areas, and that the Government of Manipur will "ultimately" be responsible for any repercussion and undesirable consequences that may take place out of the issue.

According to the joint statement, memorial stones were being erected in the Naga ancestral land with the inscription “In defence of our ancestral land and freedom”.  The joint statement of the four Naga tribe bodies then pointed out that, before 1917 there was no Kuki established village in Manipur, and that "Kukis are landless people in Manipur."

The joint statement then alleged that, in the hill areas in the present state of Manipur, the Kukis paid taxes to the Nagas for tilting the lands of Nagas because Kukis were not the owners of the lands "but landless people" in Manipur.

"Therefore, the design of the so called commemoration of 'Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919' is highly provocative and objectionable because it is an attempt to claim ownership over the Nagas’ ancestral land in the Naga areas", the statement added.

According to the four Naga tribe bodies, there was no "Anglo-Kuki War" in the history of Manipur. "There is Kuki Rebellion (1917-18) in the history. It was started in December 1917 and brought under control in November 1918, a period of about one year," the joint statement also pointed out.

It then alleged that during the uprising, the Kukis had carried out attacks and killed civilians and burnt down houses in the Naga villages and in which they killed 289 Nagas and 4 Meiteis and burnt 34 Naga villages. 

"They never attacked the Britishers. So called 'Anglo-Kuki War' is not only a blatant lie but an attempt to cheating and misleading the people of today and the posterity of Manipur by distorting the history of Manipur", the joint statement stated.