Before the coming of Christianity, the hill people were fighting among themselves; one village fought against another village and one clan against the other unceasingly. By that time, enmity, plundering villages, fighting and killing strangers and enemies were widely practiced among them and it was so with the Kukis and the Nagas too. There are instances of how the Kukis attacked many Naga villages and massacred the Nagas. But, after the acceptance of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, they changed. They started living together peacefully in Him. It is indeed, a change of life from the darkness into the light. It is a historic move from the world of barbarism to civilization.
With the commencement of the Naga national resistance movement against the aggressors, hardened collaborators and informers of the enemies- Nagas or Kukis, who lives in the same country were given harsh punishments. But, some Kukis not knowing their crimes would like to retaliate upon the Nagas. So, a Kuki called Pu Rawthangliana from Churachandpur formed a volunteer force in 1980. These Kuki volunteers hurt the sentiment of our Naga brothers very much. But, that did not last long on account of the arrest of their leader for bank robbery in Churachandpur.
Sometime in 1984-86 some Kuki Chiefs and leaders tried to form Kuki Commandos in collaboration with the Indian Army to fight the Naga freedom fighters but that also ended in vain. On 24th February, 1988, a man from Kangpokpi area called Late Pu Nehlun Kipgen founded the Kuki National Front (KNF) at Molnoi village, Burma (Myanmar). They tried to go to Kachin for basic training, but the Kachin Independent Army (KIA) did not accept their request on account of their objective to fight the Nagas. So, the Chairman (L) Pu Nehlun returned from Burma in search of another supporting organization in the North East regions. After that, the Haokips ousted him from the Chairmanship and replaced him with Late Pu Thangkholun Haokip.
In November 1991, (L) Pu Nehlun Kipgen along with some followers came to Kamjong area in Ukhrul district and created situation. On their way, some Tangkhul Nagas who were sleeping in the jungle cutting trees for jhum cultivation in the land of Laiyang Ganpul village were threatened by Pu Nehlun and party at night to stop cutting their work and told all the Tangkhuls to leave the land and go to Nagaland for it is Kukis’ homeland and that they are from the KNA coming from Kachin. That was the real factor of Naga-Kuki clash of 1992-1998.
In the early parts of 1993, the Kuki Defense Force (KDF) began to drive out the Nagas living in Moreh town. And fighting between the KDF and NSCN began there. So, KDF invited KNA for reinforcement in March, 1993. Some KNA members led by Pu Thangkholun Haokip went to Moreh and started burning villages and paddy storehouses of the Maring Nagas in Chandel district. Since then, the communal clashes between the two communities spread everywhere.
In one of the incidents, the KNA eliminated nine (9) Tangkhul fishermen and laborers at Sana Nampan Lok in Ukhrul district in 1998. However, the Tangkhuls forgave the Kukis because the then Minister Mr. TN Haokip begged and apologized at a public meeting in Kamjong which was organized by the then Chief Minister of Manipur, (Late) Rishang Keishing.
Therefore, condemning and blaming the Tangkhuls for the Kuki-Naga clash and the inscription on the monolith of Kuki Black Day as ‘Tangkhul-led NSCN-IM’ is unfounded and distortion of facts. It is nothing but sowing seeds of hatred and war between the Kuki tribe and the Naga nation, which will be cancerous to the health and harmonious social life of the future generations. I hope the rational Kuki general people are for reconciliation with their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ than for war which has created havoc to the human race in history.
In-Charge, Kuki Tribal Union (KTU)
Southern Nagalim, GPRN
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