Residents of villages in Manipur have been threatened with dire consequences if 90 per cent votes are not cast for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The village heads were summoned by Kuki National Army and were told that if the BJP does not win in the region, they will personally be held responsible and will be punished. A diktat was also issued during the lecture which took place at D Muonnaphai village in Moreh in Manipur.
Manipur is part of the first phase of elections and will go into polls on Thursday, April 11. The KNA also said that even though there aren't enough female force in the militant army, a special team of 200 women will be deployed at polling booths to ensure that the votes go to BJP. They added that they will not hesitate to resort to violence.
"Whether men or women, nobody will be spared if they the diktat is not followed," Thangboi Haokip, the commander of KNA, was quoted as saying by News18.
Haokip added that KNA has ordered the village heads to make sure that the army has free movement in and out. He also said that the army may even open fire on the day of the polling. According to News18, there are 21 polling booths in Moreh area. The army will go to every booth and make sure that BJP has at least 90 per cent votes.
What is the KNA?
The Kuki National Army, a part of the Kuki National organisation, is an insurgent group formed in 1988. Their main objective is to bring all parts of Manipur which were separated by artificial boundaries in the 1930s under a single region called "Zalengam" or the land of freedom.
The KNA tries to stay away from Indian security forces stationed in the north-east state. However, they do not shy away from writing to the Centre with requests.
The KNA and other insurgent groups in the region have more often than not been in good terms with the Centre. In 2005, the then defence minister Pranab Mukherjee had said that KNA and seven other militant outfits in Manipur have informally announced a ceasefire in the region.