UNC's peace rally turns violent, two killed in police firing
Source: The Sangai Express / Mungchan Zimik/Correspondents

Ukhrul, August 30 2014 : Two persons were killed allegedly in police firing as the peace rally organised under the aegis of the United Naga Council (UNC) turned violent at Ukhrul district headquarters today.

Yet, similar peace rallies taken out at Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati went off peacefully without any untoward incident.

Defying the prohibitory orders clamped under 144 CrPC at Ukhrul town, tens of thousand came out in support of the rally from 11 am.

The rally started from seven different points of Ukhrul town and it was participated by more than 50 villages.

At around 2:20 pm, public forced through police barricades and gathered at TNL ground to read out a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister.

Soon a melee broke out and police started firing in the air.

This was followed by a volley of smoke bombs and live bullets.

In the ensuing police action, two civilians were killed and they have been identified as Ramkashing Vashi s/o Late Christopher Vashi and Mayopam Ramraor, both from Teinem village.

One Ngachonmi Muinao too sustained injuries and he was rushed to Imphal.

Charred remains of a Gypsy and Bolero jeep after they were set ablaze at Ukhrul town
Charred remains of a Gypsy and Bolero jeep after they were set ablaze at Ukhrul town

Several women and civilians were treated at district hospital, Leishiphung hospital and CHRSC.

There are also reports of isolated harassment meted out to civilians and damages done to vehicles parked at road side.

Five security personnel including one lady IRB personnel and four commandos were reported to be missing.

A late report informed that all the missing security personnel were 'freed' late evening.

Two AK47 rifles, six magazines, two 9 mm pistols, four magazines, one bullet-proof jacket and a walkie-talkie set have been reportedly confiscated from security pesonnel by some infuriated protesters.

Two commandos too sustained injuries during confrontation with the rallyists.

Shelling of tear gas canisters continued till 4 pm.

Following the violent confrontation, a tense situation has gripped Ukhrul town.

In view of the highly volatile situation, the district administration has requisitioned Army and Assam Rifles and they have been keeping a tight vigil at the district headquarters.

Senapati: A mass district level peace rally organized under the banner of the UNC was held today at the district headquarters with about 4500 participants.

The peace rally was rather smooth and peaceful except for a slight altercation between student leaders of SDSA, ANSAM and Additional Superintendent of Police, Kangpokpi regarding passage of vehicles through the rally.

The altercation subsided with the arrival of the rallying public.

The rally began from the Senapati Public Ground and the public re-echoed Junior Martin Luther's lyric "We shall overcome" .

An opening prayer was invoked by Fr.Joseph, Parish Priest, St.

John Bosco Parish.

The peace rally was participated by a large number of publics leaders from various organizations, like UNC, NPF, NPO, ANSAM, SDSA, SDWA, NPMFHR, Tribe Hohos, KSTC, politicians, religious leaders, and social leaders.

Banners and placards used in the rally resounded the assertion of the UNC like 'Stop militarization of Naga areas', 'Honour the cease-fire or cease the cease-fire', 'Expedite acceptable and honorable settlement of the Indo-Naga issue', 'Respect the democratic process of dialogue on alternative arrangement pending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue', 'Stop aggression on ancestral land of Nagas and Tribals' etc.

The rally circled the heart of the town with radius of about 2 km in which the head of the rally almost touched the tail.

After coming back to the Public Ground, a public meeting was held there and it was addressed by many civil and political leaders.

Among the speakers were NPO president ML Markson, SDSA president A Lolia, Joyson of NPMHR, NPF president N Awangbou and UNC president L Adani.

In his message L Adani talked about the Indo-Naga issue and the tripartite talk for alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur.

"Nagas are going to lose our dignity and identity if we continue to remain under the Government of Manipur", Adani remarked.

Adani spoke through parable of the "Land of Jewel", quoting a Manipuri poet about the beauty of Manipur guarded by hills as fence.

He contextualized the poem that the Nagas continued to guard the jobs, education and identity of the valley.

Despite the privilege enjoyed by the valley people, they started to put their eyes on the land of the tribals through policies, programmes, notifications like New Land Use Policies-2014 and induction of tribal villages under valley districts.

Village Development Committee was set up to acquire the lands and weaken the republic of the tribals, Adani alleged.

"We have to pursue our case and rights wholeheartedly and never give up.

Our enemies are not only the GoM.

But it weakens our aspiration when there are elements of tribalism among the Nagas.

This intentional confusion and chaos were deliberately instigated and it is a great threat.

Let us not allow confusion and negativity take control but bring about greater unity" urged L Adani.

NPO president ML Markson voiced the concern and pressing needs of the Nagas and mentioned that the Government of Manipur wants more Naga's blood to be shed.

Turning to the Manipur Government, he said 'Enough is Enough' .

A Lolia, speaking on behalf of the women also strongly condemned the policies and hidden conspiracy to fragment the Naga society.

Reacting to the words of Additional Superintendent of Police of Kangpokpi "I can stop this rally", as spoken to the ANSAM and SDSA student leaders, she demanded the Additional SP to tender a public apology.

NPMHR representative Joyson pointed out "Only one thing is clear that we will march forward hand in hand to fight for our rights and justice." N Awangbou addressing the gathering reiterated NPF commitment to fight for the rights of the Nagas and the tribal by constitutional means.

Instead of trying to understand the sentiments of the people, the GoM has been trying to suppress people's voice through CrPC 144 at Ukhrul.

The government must welcome talks with any group for amicable solution but instead suppressed the issue", he said.

The peace rally concluded with reading out of the memorandum submitted to Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi for intervention.

CHANDEL: Chandel district scripted a historical rally when more than 5000 people from different sub divisions and blocks came by buses, canters, shaktimans and DIs in spite of the heavy rains to take part in the peace rally organized under the aegis of CNPO here in Chandel today.

Churches and Christian leaders, representatives of the frontal organizations including the Tribe Hohos, women and student body leaders, NGOs, village chiefs, youth leaders, students and general public have been demanding the GoI to expedite an acceptable and honourable settlement of the Indo-Naga issue.

The rally which proceeded from Maha Union Govt Higher Secondary School ground also registered protest against the militarization of Naga areas particularly Ukhrul district by GoM with Manipur state forces in utter disrespect of the Indo-Naga cease fire.

Before the rally was kicked off a public meeting was held at the Maha Union Govt Higher Secondary ground where Chairman of the Alternative Arrangement Paul Leo and others including the CNPO president addressed the crowd.

The rally was by and large peaceful and no untoward incident occurred.

Persons who died in police firing in Ukhrul have been identified as Ramkashing Vashi s/o (L) Christopher Vashi of Teinem Village and R Mayopam S/o (L) R Hangyui of Tuinem Village.

Those who were critically injured in the incident were M Ngachonmi S/o M David of Somdal Village, Ramchanngam Horam S/o Helpson Horam of Kharasom Village, Ningkhan Luikham S/o David Luikham of Kongkan Village, Khanreingam LK S/o Yangmi LK of Leiting Village, Shangkahao Keishing S/o (L) Thomas Keishing of Thoyee Village Ningshim LS of Ukhrul.

SK Raingam of Kachai L Somiwon of Shirui, Chanreiwon of Teinem, AS Pamshang of Ukhrul were also injured in the incident.

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