‘Save India, Save Manipur’ demonstrated

Imphal: Manipur valley on Thursday witnessed mass demonstration pressing for series of demands including abrogation of Suspension of Operation (SoO) with Kuki militants under the theme ‘Save India, Save Manipur.’

Joint civil organisations including People’s Alliance for Peace and Progressive Manipur (PAPPM), Meitei Resurgence Forum, Sekmai Apunba Village Volunteer Force, Youth for Peace and Progress, Apunba Meitei Ima Lup on Wednesday announced to state demonstration in valley districts. The protest was conducted in various democratic forms including human chain protest, rally and sit-ins.

Thousands of demonstrators took up the mass rally in various areas of the valley districts of Manipur. “Remove AR from the state”, “We want peace”, “Down down Kuki Narco-terrorist”, “Abrogate SoO with Kuki terrorist” and “Deport illegal Kuki immigrants who entered Manipur after 1961” were the slogans of the demonstrators.

On January 21, thirty-four members of the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly had resolved that SoO with militants who indulge in killing innocent civilians and violating ground rules should be abrogated immediately. The SoO agreement with other militant groups who also indulge in anti-state activities should not be extended beyond its expiry date of February 29.

In the resolution, 34 members of the Manipur Legislative Assembly signed their signatories without chief minister N. Biren Singh. Biren also signed the resolution later.

One of the protestors told reporters that since May 3 last year, Kuki militants have been attacking the people residing in valley districts in various forms. Since then, the Kuki militants have been continuing to attack with gunshots, bombs and burning of houses located in peripheral areas. In various attacks, many people have been killed by the Kuki militants.

She said that people want peace, not violence, and the state and central government should take immediate steps to stop the violence. “There is a suspicion that Assam Rifles is taking sides with Kuki militants in the ongoing crisis,” she added.

Drawing attention from the state government, another protestor Laisharam Inaobi said, “Intensified form of agitation in support of CSOs, local bodies and others will be initiated if the state and central government fail to fulfil the demands.”

Another protestor, Lourembam Anita told reporters that for over 9 months people of Manipur have been suffering due to the ongoing crisis and the state and central government should bring the crisis to an end.

“While  Kuki militants continue attacking valley residents with bombs and sophisticated weapons, Assam Rifles has been remaining as a mute spectator. People of Manipur demand the immediate abrogation of SoO with Kuki militants and to implement NRC immediately with the base year 1961,” she added.

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