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Manipur conflict state-manufactured for facilitating corporate loot: FACAM

Counterview Desk 

In a statement marking one year of what it calls “genocidal violence” in Manipur, the civil rights network Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) has claimed that the whole “conflict” is premised on the fact that the state is rich in natural resources.
The natural resources found include limestone, chromite, nickel, copper, malachite, azurite, magnetite, and various platinum group elements. There are predominantly found in Hundung, Phungyar, and Mailiang villages in Ukhrul district, as well as in Toupokpi, Chakpikarong, Pallel, Nungphura, Nungpal, Sajik Tampak, and Haikot villages in Tengnoupal and Chandel districts -- 80% of which fall in areas inhabited by tribal communities practicing Christianity, which are particularly the Kuki-Zo and Nagas in Manipur.
On the other hand, the Meiteis are “largely Hinduism-practicing”, which became targeted as the base for the ruling Hindutva regime.

Text:

On 3rd May 2024, it was a year since the genocidal violence in Manipur has started, and it has continued to intensify across the year. As of 1st May 2024, there have been 185 people killed in the violence initiated by the ruling BJP-RSS combine with more than 200 villages burnt and more than 41,000 people displaced from Manipur.
The struggle in Manipur is centred on the lands of the tribal peasantry, with the ruling BJP government in both the centre and state assembly of Manipur pushing for the ability of the valley-based landowning sections to purchase the forest lands in the hills, instigating violence between the Kuki-Zo, Naga peasantry and the Meitei tribal communities.
Various reports surfaced where the Indian army and paramilitary arms and ammunition were “stolen” which were later found to have been arming the conflicts to create militias in service of brahmanical Hindutva fascist Indian state.
The conflict is premised on the fact that Manipur is rich in natural resources, particularly limestone, chromite, nickel, copper, malachite, azurite, magnetite, and various platinum group elements which are predominantly found in Hundung, Phungyar, and Mailiang villages in Ukhrul district, as well as in Toupokpi, Chakpikarong, Pallel, Nungphura, Nungpal, Sajik Tampak, and Haikot villages in Tengnoupal and Chandel districts.
Per geographical analysis, 80% of these resources fall in areas inhabited by tribal communities practicing Christianity, which are particularly the Kuki-Zo and Nagas in Manipur, while the Meiteis who are largely Hinduism-practicing are targeted as the base for the ruling brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime.
The Kuki-Zo and Naga peasants who inhabit these resource rich forest and hill areas must therefore be displaced and their political assertions and demands disarmed for the sake of corporate loot of natural resources for the interests of imperialists, big Indian corporates and the local Manipuri allies.
At the same time, Manipur has never found itself integrated with even the erstwhile British Raj, let alone the Indian state born in 1947 and has seen movements for national liberation which too have been attacked in the guise of this conflict which the state has promoted as enmity based on ethnic lines.
For the interests of corporatization, the conflict is a necessary act as a means of arming local state-backed militias, an excuse for increased presence of central paramilitary, army and police in the region in the name of ‘quelling the violence’ and ‘restoring order’ as a method of militarization which can thus make the process of looting natural resources easier, as witnessed by the large displacement of peasants.
Just like the Salwa Judum and their successors the District Reserve Guard and Bastar Fighter in Bastar where the Adivasi peasantry too is fighting for their lands, combatting displacement, genocide and a systemic war on people by the Indian state for the sake of corporate loot, state-backed private militias are running amock in the region.
Tribal peasants of resource-rich regions have been struggling against militarization and corporatization and for their jal-jungle-jameen
Just on 30th April and 1st May 2024, the Assam Rifles, part of the Central Armed Police Forces like the CRPF, conducted combing operations in the forest areas near the Kuki-Zo dominated villages of Leisanghpai and Sejang in Jiribum under the guise of capturing a purported militant.
Right after the operation, the villages were found to be burnt to the ground. In the name of securing them for the residents, these villages are cleared of the residents for such operations, allowing way for the private militias to then come in and raze them to the ground, compelling the peasants to leave.
The Adivasi peasantry dominating the 5th and 6th schedule areas, be in Bastar or Manipur, are seeing the most intense militarization for the sake of corporate loot of natural resources, where the tribal peasants across the entirety of such resource-rich regions have been struggling against militarization and corporatization for the sake of their jal-jungle-jameen, as well as for their dignity and democratic rights. Meanwhile the Indian state has propped up veils of ethnic and religious conflicts and is clamping down on all forms of resistance of the people.
Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) expresses solidarity with the people of Manipur and their struggle for the protection of their lands in their fight for jal-jungle-jameen and against brahmanical Hindutva fascism. FACAM urges an end to militarization, including the state-backed private militias in the region and end to any and all plans of rapacious mining operations for the sake of imperialists and big Indian corporates which displace the hill-based peasantry.
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*All India Students' Association (AISA), All India Revolutionary Students Organization (AIRSO), All India Revolutionary Women's Organization (AIRWO), Bhim Army Student Federation (BASF), Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organization (BASO), Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), Collective, Common Teachers Forum (CTF), Democratic Students Union (DSU), Fraternity Movement, Nazariya Magazine, Progressive Lawyers Association (PLA), Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS), Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI), Vishwavidyalaya Chhatra Federation (VCF)

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