By M.Devanand Sharma
Imphal (Manipur) , Aug 22 : Chairman of the proscribed outfit, Kuki National Organisation (KNO) and United Socialist Revolutionary Army (USRA) Commander-in-Chief Lalmingthang Vaiphei (56) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen nearby Zonal Educational Office in Churachandpur today morning around 8:00 am .
According to sources, the unknown miscreants shot on the head of Lalminthang in front of a tea-stall near ZEO office, Chiengkonpang. The body has been sent to the District hospital morgue for post mortem.
The Kuki National Organisation has condemned the mindless assassination of Lalminthang Vaiphei, former Vice-President KNO, Cabinet Member KNO, and C-in-C United Socialist Revolutionary Army, this morning .
In a statement ,KNO Joint Secretary Stephen Kuki said that the Kuki nation would alawys cherish Lalminthang’s contribution to strengthen Kuki unity, especially in the wake of the people’s struggle for self-determination and the impending political settlement through tripartite talks with Government of India and the state Government of Manipur.
Lalminthang’s Cabinet colleagues and members of KNO also extend heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, the Zomi Students’ Federation (ZSF) has condemned the brutal and senseless murder of Lalrninthang Vaiphei
The ZSF demanded the law enforcement Agencies to nab the culprits within 24 hours. failing which the ZSF will be compelled to launch an intensive agitation. It also demanded from the perpetrators to disclose he reason behind their unlawful and immoral action.
The first division of the Kuki National Front was in 1988 under the leadership of Thangkholun Haokip due to his political aspiration for ‘Zale n gam’ , a separate homeland for the kukis in Burma.
The Kuki National Organisation and Kuki National Army, its armed wing, was formed in 1988. with PS Haokip as the President of Kuki National Organisation, and supreme commander of the army. Anton Kuki was made the Home Secretary.Late Brigadier Vipin Haokip was made the first Chief of Army Staff of the Armed Wing and was succeeded by Colonel S Robert as the Chief of Army Staff of KNA in January,2005.
Lalminthang Vaiphei, Vice-President for Western ‘Zale’n-gam ‘and operates in northeast India and the Northwest Myanmar (Burma). During the post-independent Burma, the Kuki leaders had appealed for Kuki statehood.
On September 22, 2005, the then Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee informed in Imphal that at least eight militant outfits (including the KNA) in Manipur had declared informal ceasefire’ with the Union Government. But on January 31, 2006, the agreement expired.