TODAY -

Homage paid to nine 'tribal martyrs' in Churachandpur ; 15 hours bandh marks 200th day of protest
Source: The Sangai Express

CCpur, March 18 2016 : Homage was today paid to the nine 'tribal martyrs' as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) Against Anti-Tribal Bills observed the 200th day of unabated agitation against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31 last year.

A 15-hour parallel total bandh in Churachandpur district and all Naga-dominated areas of Manipur called by the JAC and United Naga Council (UNC) since last midnight affected life.

The bandh was organized to mark the stir against the controversial Bills.

A mass prayer was held at YPA Hall, Lamka Ground as a mark of respect to the killed nine protesters followed by the release of 200 flying lanterns by the gathering during the function.

The symbolic observation kicked-off at 9 am .

During the day, several people held a public meeting at the bus parking while womenfolk who had gathered in large numbers held a rally.



Flying lanterns being lit up at CCpur and (right) gun salutes being paid at Ukhrul
Flying lanterns being lit up at CCpur and (right) gun salutes being paid at Ukhrul


A public meeting that was addressed by leaders from the Churches, tribes and other CSOs was again held at 5 in the evening and culminated with the release of flying paper lanterns at Lamka Public ground by 200 Church leaders.

The JAC finance committee also handed over Rs 2.5 lakh to families of the nine 'martyrs' during the public gathering.

A gun salute was also accorded to the "martyred" protesters who were killed during confrontations with security forces in Churachandpur on August 31 and September 1 last year.

The district administration earlier issued a warning to the JAC not to perform the 'customary gun salute' but it went ahead with its plan despite the instruction.

The committee contended that there was nothing unlawful in the tribal practice of paying tributes to the 'tribal martyrs'.

It said the traditional gun salute was the highest form of respect shown to departed tribal leaders.

A public meeting at Lamka Ground held as part of the event pledged to continue the ongoing movement and condemned the Manipur Government for allegedly not heeding the demand of the tribal people who want withdrawal of the Bills.

The tribal people have said the Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015 are destructive to their interests and hence they should be cancelled.

Manipur Government's insisting on safeguarding the interests of all indigenous groups of the State has refused to withdraw the Bills saying they (tribal people) need to point out the facts in the contents of the Bills to support their arguments.

The JAC has refused to claim the nine bodies now lying in the Churachandpur district hospital after they were killed in the large-scale violence that erupted following the passing of the Bills aimed at regulating the influx of migrants into the State.

The Bills were passed by the Assembly after the Government faced a sustained mass movement in the valley spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) in the valley.

A Class 12 student was killed in police action here during the agitation that lasted for about three months throwing life out of gear particularly in the valley districts.

Munghcan Zimik reports from Ukhrul : In paying the highest respect and befitting tributes to the 9 'tribal martyrs', a gun salute was held at the office complex of Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) today.

The gun salute was to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice of the 'nine martyrs' in protest against the three 'anti tribal' Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31 last year and also to commemorate the 200th day of unrelenting struggle for justice.

Ukhrul town wore a deserted look as the TNL under the aegis of UNC enforced the 15 hours total shut down call in the district.

Schools, colleges, offices and other commercial establishment remained close while inter-district passenger service vehicles and other vehicles stayed off the road during the 15 hours total shut down at Ukhrul district.

No report of any untoward incident has been reported at Ukhrul district.

TNL vice president Peimi led the gun salute in the morning at around 9 by firing 9 rounds of shots signifying the 9 tribals who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the tribals and in solidarity.


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