Imphal, October 13, 2019:

Kuki National Organisation, a conglomeration of several armed groups of Kuki people, has urged the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, for the non-inclusion of ancestral lands in the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM) ‘Framework Agreement’.

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In a letter addressed to the CM, the organisation has laid out a historical account of the ancestral lands with respect to Chassad (Kmjong), Laijang (Tamenglong), Mongkotjang (Noney) and Phoibung (Senapati).

President of Kuki National Organisation, Zale’n-gam, PS Haokip, in the letter, said that Hundung Khullen, Hundung Khunou and Ningthi constituting Kamjong, land of Chingburoi, where Khaba-Ngaba settled must not be included in the NSCN (IM) and Government of India ‘framework agreement’ and become part of Nagalim.

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He added, “Besides the New Kukis, the other kindred old Kuki clans people of Chassad are Mongmi and Kharan (both ethnically Maring), Lairam (Lai people) and Kharam. The Tangkhul people from Somra Tract in present-day Myanmar (Burma) often raided Mongmi, Kharan, Kamo, Lairam (Lai people) and Kharam, who were then protected by the chief of Chassad and received tax and tributes.”

The letter laid out the Kharan dialect speaking villages of Kangpokpi and Ukhrul districts. These are – Khambi, Nongman, Sorte, Sorbung, Maileng, Punge, Sorathen, Khonglo, Kumram, Saman, Saram, Lisamlok, Kaprang, Lembakhul, Poirou, Shungriphai, Kangngoi, Tangkhul Khullen, Konglairam, Irong Ato, Sada Khumbi, Sada Lungthar, Heinganglok, Ngaranphung, Kharan, Chongdan, Leihaopokpi, Makan and Leisiphung.

The letter also stated the Mongmi and Lairam dialects speaking villages of Kangpokpi and Ukhrul districts in Manipur.

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“The Zeimi, Liangmei, Rongmei and Paomei people, who comprise Zealienrong of present-day Tamenglong are of ethnic Kuki-Chin stock. In days gone by, the Sukte Poi and Lusei people of Chin Hills and present-day Mizoram drove them to Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Sinjol, Sailhem and Bombal villages of Peren District of Nagaland. The Kuki chiefs, prominently Pu Jamchungnung Singson chief of Khongjang and his son Pu Ngullen Singson; chief of Jampi, and chief of Laijang fought back Sukte Poi and Lusei, and gave shelter to Zealiengrong people and settled them in Kuki ancestral land, and received tax and tributes. Pu Manga Singson narrated the bravery of his grandfather, the Chief of Khongjang, whose army consisted of 80 strong bachelors aged 50 years, plus hundreds of young men. They fought the Suhte Poi and Lusei people at GALKAPKOT, situated in south Churachandpur district of Manipur,” stated the letter addressed to the CM.

It added, “Over the years, however, generations of Zealiengrong that followed, not recalling the relations with Kukis resented the practice of tax and tributes, and were loyal to the British in the Anglo-Kuki War, 1917-1919. Later, they became instruments of NSCN (IM) against Kukis and demanded tax. Nevertheless, just as oil and water cannot mix, they soon realised that they are not secure under NSCN (IM) and to assert their independence formed the Zealienrong United Front.

According to Pu Ngurdola, in Tripura, the Langrong, Ranglong or Chorai Kukis are known as Zealiengrong in Tamenglong and Noney districts of Manipur, Peren District of Nagaland and North Cachar Hills in Assam.”

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The Kuki National Organisation, in its letter, said that given the fact that Zealiengrong are ethnic Kuki-Chin group, Noney district and Tamenglong district ‘must not be included’ in the NSCN (IM) framework agreement. It said that they must remain a part of Manipur instead.

“The wave of Naganisation led to forced assimilation of Paomei and Tuboi Kuki to Naga. Their lands are part of Kuki ancestral lands,” it said.

PS Haokip has requested the Chief Minister to ensure facts, based on legal documentation of land ownership rights and history in regards to the Kuki and Naga boundary issue.

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