(MENAFN- IANS) Imphal, June 7 (IANS) As the situation in ethnic violence-hit Manipur remain volatile for over a month now, the Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), an apex body of valley-based civil society organisations, declared a "national war against the Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists" after a day-long people's convention on Wednesday.
The convention's moderator R.K. Nimai and coordinator Jeetendra Ningomba said in a joint declaration that the government of India must bear responsibility for the current conflict between Chin-Kuki narco-terrorists and the Meitei people.
"The convention further appeals to all the brethren of our indigenous communities, who have been living together with us since time immemorial, to lend their helping hand in waging a collective war to defeat the enemy," it said.
The COCOMI also declared that a "public emergency" is in force on account of which there shall be complete cessation of any public entertainment activities except essential matters related to medical emergency, religion and funeral rites, which will be exempted.
"We will not surrender arms until the narco-terrorists and related external aggressors are completely annihilated from the soil of our motherland Manipur and peace is restored. The current times are not for the arms to be taken away from us, but rather for us to be given more arms.
"The government must give the people arms to protect and safeguard Manipur. The people of Manipur, therefore, cannot accede to the government's call for depositing arms. In addition, we will not allow any military operations in the valley," the declaration said.
The COCOMI convention resolved that the government must first rein in and disarm the Kuki terrorists, who are waging war at the foothills since they are the aggressors.
Asking the Manipur government to constitute and operationalise a dedicated force like 'Special Village Defence Force' so that people can defend their villages as well as the state, the COCOMI said that the protesters who are currently engaged in resistance activities in the core areas of Imphal and other districts will be regrouped into mobilised volunteer teams for deployment in the actively engaging villages.
The Leikai Local Club Organisations will also coordinate in this, and further, even at this juncture of an active war, the markets would remain open so that any essential requirement can be fulfilled without any hindrance, it said.
The COCOMI also demanded that the Manipur government must, as per the law, approve all the pending arms licence applications for citizens' self-defence.
The COCOMI in a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on June 4 had said that local youth are not willing to surrender arms as attacks by Kuki militants are intensifying.
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