IMPHAL| Jul 2: Chandel Naga People’s Organisation (CNPO) has dismissed the claim of Kuki ancestral land mentioned in a press interview by spokesperson of KNO and UPF on June 25, as distortion of indigenous peoples’ history and identity.
While stating that the claim is politically wrong and unacceptable to Nagas, a release asserted that historically, the influx of Kukis were a premeditated policy of the British government to oppress and subjugate the Nagas. “When this territorial aggrandisement became a failed policy, they adopted an approach policy of paying Loushal (Loyalty Land Tax) or seeking permission from the Naga headman or chief for settlement in Naga Territory,” it continued adding that this has today become a point of bargaining used by the Kukis.
“The Naga National Movement is union of ethnic tribes politically having close affiliation to a common political concept of Free Nagas apart from other social and cultural affinities,” it continued while dismissing the claims of some Kuki and Non-Kuki scholars of making a Kuki Nation as farcical.
Contending that History has established that Kukis are nomads; and that in the present political context too, they are refugees from Myanmar, the release cited Memos of the Government of India paying relief fund through the government of Manipur in four instalments in the year 1957, 1966 and 1968.
The release further called for the attention of the Government of India (GoI) and the State government to seriously note the historical and political truth while dealing with armed conflicts in the region. “CNPO urge the GoI and the State government to uphold the indigenous ethnic identity of the Nagas as the ‘declaration of ethnic tribes’ defines the identity of the tribes; and indigenous tribes like Anal, Maring, Lamkang, Chothe, Aimol, Kom etc. belongs to Naga group,” the release added.