London: (By Hannah Chowdhry and Juliet Chowdhry) Manipur, India, is currently facing a grave crisis as escalating tensions have led to a series of horrifying incidents, targeting Kuki Christians in the region. Over the past 72 hours, continuous gun battles between Kukis and Meiteis have resulted in at least eight fatalities and 18 injuries, including two security personnel. The affected areas primarily include Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts, where intermittent gunfire continues to disrupt the lives of innocent civilians.
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In response to this dire situation, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum has issued an urgent plea for an ’emergency shutdown with immediate effect’ and the imposition of martial law. This extraordinary measure aims to restore peace and protect the lives and rights of the vulnerable Kuki Christian communities, who have borne the brunt of this ongoing violence.
Crucially, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum has emphasized that essential and emergency services will remain unaffected during the emergency shutdown. This vital exception ensures that critical medical, humanitarian, and essential services will continue to function seamlessly, safeguarding the well-being of the affected population.
These turbulent events come on the heels of disturbing reports that have shed light on the horrors endured by the Kuki Christian community. One particularly shocking video, recorded in July, captures the brutal beating of a Christian man, who was bound with ropes and subjected to relentless blows by individuals from the Meitei tribe. The assailants targeted various parts of the victim’s body, including his head, stomach, and legs.
Throughout the video, the voice of a possible leader within the crowd can be heard instructing the other Meitei individuals not to strike the victim’s head. Their intention seemed to be to prolong the victim’s suffering rather than hasten his demise. Tragically, in the video’s chilling conclusion, several Meitei individuals executed the victim with shots to the head, leaving him lifeless.
This barbaric act followed a week-long period of captivity during which the victim endured unspeakable torture before being mercilessly killed. In a deeply disturbing twist, a separate video, released weeks prior to the publication of the aforementioned footage, depicts the victim being coerced into falsely confessing to raping Meitei women. This video appears to have been crafted to justify the brutal violence inflicted upon Kuki men and women in Manipur.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“The international community is urged to respond swiftly to address these grave human rights violations, and to hold the perpetrators accountable, and extend support to the beleaguered Kuki Christian communities in Manipur.
“We are at a critical moment that calls for unity and concerted efforts to restore peace and protect the rights and dignity of all affected parties.”
In the midst of this crisis, the British Asian Christian Association (BACA) has taken a proactive role in providing crucial support to internally displaced Christian Kukis in Manipur. BACA is working with two established relief camps, from which they are distributing food and essential items to those in need. This vital assistance is playing a pivotal role in alleviating the suffering of displaced families who have been affected by the violence.
In this critical moment, you can make a difference by joining hands with us to support these vulnerable communities. Your donation, no matter the size, will go a long way in providing essential relief to those in dire need. To contribute and help us serve these people.