TODAY -

UNC calls 48 hours total bandh from Jun 16 to Jun 18
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 09 2013: As decided in their presidential council meeting held on June 3, UNC has called a 48 hour total bandh in Naga areas with effect from the midnight of 16th June and till midnight of June 18, 2013 to protest against the unabated 'communal actions and policies of the GoM' and the 'communal forces in Imphal valley' and to urge the Government of India to intervene immediately with an alternative arrangement.

The above decision was arrived at after considering the manner of response of the GoM and communal forces on many issues which emerged even after the direct attack on Christians and Tribals in Imphal valley in the wake of the reported assault on actress Momoko, the Napetpali assault and molestation and the murder of 2 Kongkan Tangkhul villagers all during the last Christmas season.

A press statement issued by UNC said that 36 houses of Silent Tangkhul village were burnt down by neighbouring Saijang villagers and their supporters on May 3, 2013 and properties worth crores of rupees were reduced to cinders and hundreds of villagers rendered homeless.

The Cabinet of the GoM then stepped in and imposed 144 CrPC in the area where the burnt houses once stood by declaring the same as disputed area.

Instead of booking the vandals and arsonists, the GoM acted against the law of the land and adopted a communal position, it alleged.

The GoM offered a communal response and refused to carry out its bounden duty in securing the safe return of Alice Kamei, a 14 year old tribal school girl who has been in the custody of the Revolutionary Peoples Front/Peoples Liberation Army (RPF/PLA) since March 10, 2013 stating that the minor joined the RPF on her own volition.

The eviction of 28 houses in Naga River Colony by the GoM on 20th May, 2013 left more than 100 school going children homeless and 3 Churches mowed down.

The eviction of the bona fide residents of Naga River Colony was carried out on the pretext of construction of a 5 star hotel and systematically carried out by first propagating that the "patta" of the area were faulty and then issuing back dated eviction orders which did not allow the resident to salvage whatever is possible from their houses.

Even standing Court ruling of maintaining status quo was not honoured.

Surrenderees cadres of the KYKL (MDF) have been lodged by the GoM with the 20th Assam Rifles at Chandel.

Instead of bringing development to the hills, the GoM using the tribal areas as dumping ground for surrendered militant groups from the Imphal valley has been insulting the owners of the land.

Organised protest has not resulted in any corrective measures from the GoM.

It said that the officer-in-Charge of Sugnu Police Station summoned the Chiefs of 12 tribal villages located in the foothills of Chandel district to come with land patta of their respective villages.

The summons are obviously with a view to replicate what has been done in Naga River Colony so that by harassing the villagers and detecting some non-existent irregularity the village can be evicted by the GoM.

Maipethel Dam, under a mega 715.81 crore project has been sanctioned for construction in Chadong village, Ukhrul District without the free prior and informed consent of the tribal people who are to be dislodged from their homes and lands by the project.

The affected villagers on protest were able to extract an understanding with the GoM to institute an Expert Review Committee so that proper environment impact assessments is duly undertaken and appropriate rehabilitation and resettlement package worked out before resumption of the project.

But GoM dishonoured this understanding, violated all interna- tional norms and split up the villagers by engineering infighting.

GoM then sent in the Manipur IRB to the pro-ject area to secure forcible completion of the project and placed the village Chadong area virtually under siege, dislocating the day to day life of the villagers.

Fictitious list of names for payment of compensation was prepared by the GoM, insulting the genuine affected villagers and fomenting acrimony within the villagers.

The project is intended to feed Imphal valley with drinking water and uninterrupted power supply.

"But what about the affected tribal villagers, the targeted victims of the project ?" it questioned.

On 14th April, 2013 fifteen tribal students staying on rent in the house of one Manitombi Devi in Soibam Leikai, Khanglabung, Imphal were attacked by locals of Khanglabung Leirak.

They were assaulted and their personal belongings vandalised.

On 15th April, 2013 when community student leaders visited the house for enquiry they were also attacked with catapults, it alleged In a bid to grab tribal lands attempt are being made to drag in tribal villages such as Khangshim, Kanemram & Ngourock under Machi Block Chandel into Kakching block under Thoubal district.

All these assaults and injustice were confirmed during the political tour in Naga areas carried out in April-May, 2013 to Chandel, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Senapati district.

The sharp social divide on communal lines in the present State of Manipur engendered by the communal action and policies of the GoM and the communal forces in Imphal valley, of which few of the recent instances have been highlighted above, cries out for immediate intervention of the Government of India with an alternative arrangement outside GoM.

The 48 hours total bandh will cover the railway construction works.

Medical services, fire-brigade, media, power and telecommunication departments will be exempted from the purview of the total bandh, it added.


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