Thousands pay tributes to June 18 martyrs at Kekrupat
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 18 2017: The 16th anniversary of the Great June Uprising, Unity Day was observed today at Kekrupat here under the aegis of the observation committee constituted for the purpose by AMUCO and UCM.

Offering of floral tributes to the June 18 martyrs, public convention and blood donation camp were the main highlights of the commemorative function.

The event started with presentation of Yaikairol (requiem) followed by prayer sessions and rituals and general salute by Thang-Ta artistes.

Later, thousands of people including Ministers, MLAs and leaders of different communities paid floral tributes at the memorial tombs of the 18 martyrs.

Thousands pay tributes to June 18 martyrs at Kekrupat
Thousands pay tributes to June 18 martyrs at Kekrupat :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam

On the other hand, a substantial number of police officers and personnel kept a close vigil throughout the commemorative function so as to avert any untoward incident.

Observation committee chairman Ph Deban (AMUCO president), observation committee vice-chairman Elangbam Johnson (UCM president) and leaders of different communities attended the public convention as presidium members.

Family members of the 18 martyrs were presented gifts in honour of the supreme sacrifices made by the martyrs at the beginning of the public meeting.

Speaking at the mammoth gathering, E Johnson categorically stated that the Government of India should not pursue any policy aimed at polarising the people of Manipur on ethnic lines as it would prove futile.

The people of Manipur would not tolerate any such policy.

Any sinister plan to disintegrate Manipur would only invite much more forceful civil movement than the one witnessed in June 2001 .

The Government of India should act keeping in mind the more than 2000 years old history of Manipur, Johnson asserted.

Since 2001, the territorial integrity of Manipur is being challenged continuously and there is no one who can guarantee the integrity of Manipur.

As such, all the people cutting across ethnicity should pledge collectively to safeguard the integrity of Manipur on such a historic day.

A dimension has emerged in the Naga peace process.

Many quarters have now started demanding that the Government of India should not confine the peace process with NSCN-IM alone but all Naga insurgent outfits should be taken into confidence and take them on board, Johnson remarked.

At such a crucial juncture, the people of Manipur should ponder whether the new dimension of the Naga peace process would impinge upon the collective interest of Manipur, and if yes, up to what degree, he cautioned.

Commenting on the Framework Agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN-IM on August 3, 2015, the UCM president said that an application was filed through RTI Act seeking details of the Framework Agreement.

However, the Government of India has been refusing to divulge the details on the ground that it is within the domain of State security and it would disturb law and order.

"Even though many leaders of the Government of India including the Prime Minister have clarified repeatedly that the Framework Agreement contains nothing which would impinge upon the interest of Manipur, something is behind the scene and we must be wary of it", Johnson asserted.

Even if the territorial boundary is kept intact, the State can still be divided through different political arrangements.

If any Indian leader can guarantee that the Naga peace process would not affect the territorial boundary and integrity of Manipur, they may come out for a public debate, he invited.

In case the Government of India claims that NSCN-IM's armed campaign is legitimate and it (New Delhi) recognises its movement, then why is the Government of India keeping silent to repeated provocative statements made by NSCN-IM leaders.

All the people need to ponder why NSCN-IM has started demanding enforcement of 6th Schedule of the Indian Constitution and a separate State.


CCSK and UCM have already submitted five-point representation to the Government of India's interlocutor regarding the Framework Agreement.

Pointing out that Manipur is not an exclusive homeland of any particular ethnic group, Johnson asserted that any ethnic polarisation plan would not be tolerated.

The position of the political elites of Manipur on the issue and how they would tackle it are highly questionable, Johnson added.

Ph Deban pointed out that the people of Manipur have fought many wars and waged numerous civil movements so as to protect its territory since the days when it was an independent kingdom.

The war fought against Burmese occupants in the aftermath of the Seven Years' Devastation and the war fought against British invaders were all for the sake of the State's territory.

Since Manipur became a part of the dominion of India on October 15,1949.many external forces have been challenging the integrity of Manipur.

The whole world was witness to the historic civil movement of June 2001 which erupted against the external forces scheming to disintegrate Manipur, Deban stated.

Recalling the genesis of the historic movement, Deban said that the Government of India and NSCN-IM signed a ceasefire agreement for the first time on June 1, 1997 .

Responding to this development, AMUCO together with many other civil organisations organised a huge public rally on August 4, 1997 .

Rather than paying heed to the collective voice of the people of Manipur, New Delhi and NSCN-IM signed another ceasefire agreement on June 14,2001 with the clause 'without territorial limits' .

Protesting the highly provocative clause, AMUCO, AMSU and other civil organisations called a 66 hours general strike from June 15 midnight till June 18 midnight.

On the last day of the general strike, people from all walks of life came out to streets and staged a historic protest demonstration where 18 people were killed in firing by security forces.

Since then, people of the State have been observing the Great June Uprising, Unity Day every year on June 18 .

None of the people who took part in the historic civil movement said any provocative word nor did they pose any threat to any community.

They were only protesting the Government of India's sinister design, Deban said.

With all the details of the Framework Agreement still kept a closely guarded secret, people have no idea about any possible outcome of the Naga peace process.

A much stronger people's movement may erupt any time and all the people need to be prepared for any eventuality, asserted the AMUCO president.

Meiteis alone cannot protect Manipur.

All ethnic groups of the State must unite together, he called.

Committee on Culture for Peace and Integrity.

Assam chairman Saikhom Kamalakanta pledged that Manipuris settled outside the State would do all they can to safeguard the boundary of Manipur.

A separate land policy for the indigenous people of Assam has been already formulated and Manipur needs a similar land policy.

He then expressed keen desire for the Government of Manipur to construct a Manipur Bhavan at Silchar and a guest house at Imphal for Manipuris settled outside the State.

UCM consultative committee members RK Ranendrajit.

H Tbotombi Khuman, AMUCO advisor Dr Dhanabir Laishram, Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Manipur president L Memchoubi, Kanglamei president Y Leirik Leima, AMKIL president Ph Sakhi, Kuki Inpi Manipur president Prof Khamliankhup, Aimol Tribe Union Manipur president RT Akhel Aimol, Lilong Haoreibi College Associate Professor Dr Md Riyajuddln Khan, Keithel Lairembi Lup Hojai president Moirangthem Shantibabu and Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Hojai sceretary Th Manibabu were also seated on the dais.

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