BJP Colluding With Insurgents? Manipur Militants Threaten Violence if Saffron Party Candidate Doesn’t Get 90% Votes
The party has also acquiesced to the militant group’s demand to field their favoured candidate for LS polls.
Manipur insurgent group Kuki National Army (KNA) has threatened violence if 90% votes do not go to the the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate HS Benjamin Mate who is also the Manipur BJP vice president.
Biju Kumar Dekha reported for News18 that commander of the KNA Thangboi Haokip issued the decree in front of a gathering at D Muonnaphai village in Moreh, Manipur. Village chiefs were also present at the gathering.
Previously, two Manipur insurgent groups— Zomi Re-unification Organisation (ZRO) and Kuki National Organisation (KNO) (KNA is the armed wing of KNO) — in separate letters had requested the BJP party president Amit Shah to give its tickets to the insurgents’ favoured candidate HS Benjamin Mate for the outer Manipur parliamentary seat. The BJP had obliged the request, News18 reported.
KNA commander Haokip reportedly warned they will resort to violence if required. He said, “Whether men or women, nobody will be spared if the diktat is not followed.” Haokip also said he has informed the ‘gaon bura’ (village chief) he needs free movement and might open fire on polling day, News18 reported.
Per the report, the KNA has an approximately 600 cadres armed with weapons such as AK-Series, G-series, M-series and 60mm mortar. The militant group has said that it will keep an eye on the poll percentage and requires at least 90% votes for BJP at 21 polling stations in Moreh area.
The report adds that KNA’s objective is to bring all Kuki-inhabited areas separated by the artificial boundary created in 1935 in Manipur under one administrative unit called ‘Zalengam’ (Land of freedom). If the integration is not realised, the KNA aims at the creation of two Kuki states: one within Burma, ‘Eastern Zalengam’ and the other within India, ‘Western Zalengam’.