NEWS LIVE AT Kuki Revolutionary Army CAMP
NANDAN PRATIM SHARMA BORDOLOI AND RINKU BORA
A four-member crew of News Live on Thursday treaded into the deep jungles of Karbi Anglong where they were greeted by armed militants of the Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA). It is for the first time that any team from the visual media had undertaken the daring journey to the KRA camps. The KRA rebels carrying sophisticated weapons stay in makeshift camps inside the thick forests of Karbi Anglong district in Assam. Our journalists and the camera crew were welcomed by 180 cadres of the camp, most of them being teenagers trained in arms use and guerilla warfare.
Speaking to News Live, Sergeant Major, KRA, Sinhasan Pahar said, “We are forced to wage an armed struggle for the greater interest of the Kuki community which has been neglected by the government for long.”
Our team also travelled to the Kuki villages for an understanding of the living condition of the Kukis. The women folk of the village were a deprived lot who narrated a sorry tale of government apathy. A number of women cadres have also taken up arms against the government machinery.
The Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) was formed in December 1999, allegedly with the support of the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM). In August 2007, the KRA underwent a split with the formation of the KRA-Unification in the Karbi Anglong district of Assam. The KRA maintains linkages with several militant outfits of the Northeast that includes: United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), Kuki National Front - Military Council (KNF-MC), NSCN-IM, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) and Dima Halom Daogah (DHD).
Since 2003, the Kuki rebels have unleashed a reign of terror in the Karbi Anglong district, killing Karbi villagers and setting houses ablaze. Their primary objective is to secure a “separate State” for the Kuki tribe within the Indian union and the unification of all scattered Kukis in the new homeland. In Assam, its declared objective is the creation of the “Kuki National Council”, an autonomous administrative council for the Kukis in the Karbi Anglong district.