Michigan— In a powerful display of unity, the Michigan-based Indian diaspora, along with members from NAMTA, AANA, IAMC, CAPI, and ICA in the United States, gathered at Hart Plaza, Detroit on Sunday to denounce the ongoing genocide against the Kuki-Zomi tribes in Manipur, India.
The solemn event highlighted the atrocities committed against the Kuki-Zomi tribes, which have been enduring violence and oppression for over three months. Reports indicate that over 60,000 individuals have been rendered homeless, with more than 6,200 houses, 320 churches, and over 170 villages being burned and decimated.
The gathering expressed deep concern over disturbing videos circulating on social media showing women from the tribes being paraded naked, gang-raped, tortured, and executed by self-styled firing squads. The internet ban in the region for over two months has further heightened apprehensions about more such videos surfacing once connectivity is restored.
With a resolute belief in India's constitutional commitment to the principles of liberty, fraternity, and equality, the diaspora voiced their collective demand for action against the ongoing genocide. They emphasized that a nation calling itself a democracy cannot permit such heinous acts to persist.
"The principles of liberty, fraternity, and equality must be upheld to substantialize the foundation of a just and inclusive nation. Today, we see those foundations being destroyed deliberately," said one of the speakers at the gathering.
The Michigan Indians for Equality and Justice, along with other organizations, expressed profound disappointment in the apparent apathy of both state and central government authorities in curbing the violence and protecting the tribes.
The Kuki and Zomi tribes, like many indigenous communities, have historically endured injustices and discrimination. However, the current situation poses an existential threat to their very existence, with evidence of violence, rape, and forced displacement emerging daily.
In a unified voice, the diaspora demanded immediate action from the local State and Central Indian governments to uphold constitutional values and protect the lives and rights of these vulnerable tribes. They asserted that justice must be served, and the perpetrators of these heinous crimes must be held accountable for their actions.
Additionally, the diaspora called upon the international community and human rights organizations to join them in closely monitoring the situation in Manipur and providing support to safeguard the rights and cultural heritage of the Kuki-Zomi tribes.
The event at Hart Plaza stood as a solemn reminder of the need for global solidarity in addressing human rights violations and atrocities committed against indigenous communities worldwide. The attendees vowed to continue raising their voices until justice and equality prevail for the Kuki-Zomi tribes in Manipur, India.