IMPHAL, Dec 13: Several Kuki civil organizations have declared to extend support to the so called creation of the â€œKuki (Khulmi) Development Councilâ€ under the 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, a demand put up by the United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), a signatory to the Suspension of Operation under the umbrella organization of the United Peoples Front.
At the same time, the Kuki civil bodies also appealed to both the Government of Manipur and Government of India to begin political dialogue in order to thrash out a lasting political settlement for the Kukis in Manipur.
A public hearing was held today at the office of the Gunpi Area Kuki Chief Association at M Munpi Village in Chandel district which was attended by various Kuki Civil organizations. The organisations which attended todayâ€™s public hearing were the Kuki Peopleâ€™s Forum, Chandel, Kuki Chief Association, Gunpi Area Kuki Chief Association, Manipur, Kana Area Kuki Chief Association, Manipur, Kuki Women Human Rights, Dingpi Area Chief Association, Manipur, Thadou Students Association etc.
Briefing media persons in this connection after the meeting, Lhunthang Mate, chairman Kuki Peopleâ€™s Forum, Chandel declared that the united stand was resolved after deliberate discussion in the public meet adding they also highly regarded the demand put up by other Kuki Militants under the SoO.
He noted that many individuals, writers as well as representative of Tribal Organizations have expressed their views through media for the extension of 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution to the Tribal inhabited area of Manipur solely with the objective to achieve equal development both for the valley and the hill areas.
Lhunthang further maintained that if the Government of Manipur is serious and sincerely committed to achieve its policy for equal development of both the valley and hill area of Manipur, extension of 6th scheduled of the Indian Constitution is necessary particularly in view of the size of assembly constituency and its electorates of the hill areas of Manipur.
Comparatively, the size of one assembly constituency and its electorate represented by a hill member of legislative assembly is three to four times larger to that of valley counterpart, said Lhunthang Mate adding efforts for equal development for the hill and valley area of Manipur shall never bear fruit under the present scheme of things unless a new and novel administrative mechanism for the hill area are worked out. He also stressed the need for a separate administrative unit under the provision of 6th scheduled of the Indian Constitution without the slightest disturbance to the territorial integrity of the state.
Stating that the issue of “Territorial Integrity”` of Manipur is a very delicate and sensitive, the Kuki leader also said any political demand compromising the state territorial integrity is not healthy to the aged old harmony in the state as well as not practicable in the sense that Manipur is among the smallest states of the Indian Union in terms of geography and population. Any idealistic proposal to crave out a separate administrative political unit compromising stateâ€™e territorial integrity is not feasible and practicable as that would be too a fragmented unit, Lhunthang Mate added.
He further claimed that the core issue in the hill area of Manipur is development and the only solution is the application of 6th schedule of the Indian constitution.
Taking into consideration of all aspects, the representative resolved to wholeheartedly support to the demand for the creation of â€œKuki (Khulmi) Development Councilâ€ under the provisions of 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution to which effect a memorandum was already submitted Prime Minister of India by the UKLF on October 30 earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Mate also appealed to the Government of India and the Government of Manipur to hold an early Political Dialogue with SoO Signatories in order to bring a permanent political solution for the Kukis under the Provisions of 6n Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
He recalled that it has been about a half decade since the Suspension of Operation (SoO) was signed between the Government of Manipur, Government of India and the various Kuki Armed Organizations on August, 1, 2005. Almost all the Designated Camps of the Armed Cadres have also been completed and formal inauguration were done as published in the state print and electronic media.