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All-Tribe Panel To Be Formed To Decide If 'Chin Kukis' Will Remain ST: Manipur CM

The chief minister’s statement came in the wake of a letter by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs seeking the state government’s views on the demand for deletion of the "nomadic Chin Kuki" community from Manipur’s ST list.

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Manipur CM Biren Singh
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Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday said that an all-tribe committee would be formed to decide on whether the Chin Kuki community would be deleted from the Scheduled Tribes list of the state.

The chief minister’s statement came in the wake of a letter by the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs seeking the state government’s views on the demand for deletion of the "nomadic Chin Kuki" community from Manipur’s ST list.

The demand was made by Maheshwar Thounaojam, National Secretary of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), who claimed that members of that community are not indigenous people of India but immigrants. "They were included in the (ST) list of Manipur but how they were included needs to be re-examined. Before making a comment, we have to form a committee consisting of all tribes (of the state)," Singh told reporters here.

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After getting the panel’s recommendations, the state government will be able to send its view on the matter, he said. Kuki is a collective name of various tribes of Manipur and Chin is one of those. The Chin community people also share ethnicity with the Mizos of Mizoram and a section of the residents of neighbouring Myanmar.

Manipur has been rocked by ethnic violence since May last year and over 180 people were killed. The violence erupted on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.

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