MPs, Meetei MLAs endorse AT demands at Kangla meeting
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 24 2024: Amid heavy deployment of state and central paramilitary forces, leaders of Arambai Tenggol held crucial meeting with MLAs and MPs of the valley districts inside the historic Kangla Fort on Wednesday.

The meeting unanimously resolved that all the 37 MLAs and two MPs belonging to the Meetei community will intimate concerns of the people to the Centre and mount pressure to fulfil the demands raised by Arambai Tenggol, which include abrogation of Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement signed with Kuki militants and uphold territorial integrity of Manipur.

All the 37 MLAs and two MPs also took the oath collectively to raise concerns of the people particularly the demands raised by Arambai Tenggol to the Centre within 15 days.

Reportedly concerned with inability of valley MLAs and MPs to sit together and take decisive decision ever since the violence perpetrated by Kuki militants against the Meetei community to destroy Manipur's emotional and territorial integrity, Arambai Tenggol had called the meeting with MLAs and MPs at 10 am Wednesday inside the Kangla to take a decisive decision and administer oath at the premises of the revered Ibudhou Pakhangba.

All the MLAs and MPs gathered at Kangla before 10 am and unanimously resolved to raise issues concerning people of the state to the centre.

They also appended signatures on the resolution paper and assured to apprise the central leaders on plight and sentiment of the people within 15 days.

Chief minister N Biren Singh did not attend the meeting but put his signature after the resolution copy was sent to him.

MLAs who signed the resolution copy include Th Biswajit (Thongju), Yumnam Khemchand (Singjamei), Govindas Konthoujam (Bishnupur), Dr S Ranjan (Konthoujam), L Susindro (Khurai), H Dingo (Sekmai), Th Basanta Kumar (Nambol), Th Satyabrata (Yaiskul), Lourembam Rameshwar (Keirao), Th Lokeswar (Khundrakpam), Thounaojam Shyamkumar (Andro), Khongbantabam Ibomcha (Lamlai), Khumukcham Joykisan (Thangmeiband), Khwairakpam Raghumani (Uripok), RK Imo (Sagolband), NIshikant Sapam (Keishamthong), Thangjam Arunkumar (Wangkhei), Sorokhaibam Rajen (Lamsang), Sapam Kunjakeshor (Patsoi), Karam Shyam (Langthabal), S Kebi (Naoriya Pakhanglakpa), Kongkham Robindro (Mayang Imphal), Irengbam Nalini (Oinam), Thongam Shanti (Moirang), Tongbram Robindro (Thanga), Sanasam Premchandra (Kumbi), Okram Ibobi Singh (Thoubal), Keisham Meghachandra (Wangkhem), Thokchom Radheshyam (Heirok), Paonam Brojen (Wangjing-Tentha), Surjakumar Okram (Khangabok), Dr Usham Deven (Wabagai), Mayanglambam Rameshwar (Kakching), Dr Yumnam Radheshyam (Hiyanglam) and Kangujam Ranjit (Sugnu).

Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba and Lok Sabha (Inner Manipur) Dr RK Ranjan also attended the meet and inked their signatures on the resolution copy apart from taking the oath with legislators.

Mention may be made that some of the MLAs had skipped the meeting of ruling party legislators, which was convened some days back, citing health condition.

The Kangla meeting unanimously resolved to conduct NRC exercise with 1951 as the base year and to deport detected foreigners, abrogation of SoO agreement with Kuki militants and initiate action against them for their aggression, relocating the refugees from Myanmar in the state to Mizoram, expedite fencing of the Indo-Myanmar border, withdrawal of Assam Rifles units unable to stop poppy cultivation even within their jurisdiction and replacing the force by another paramilitary force and deletion of Kuki illegal immigrants from the ST list.

All the legislators and the two MPs also took oath in front of Kangla Utra that they will join the people's movement in case the Centre fails to acknowledge concerns of the people particularly the demands raised by Arambai Tenggol.

The meeting ended at about 10.30 am with all the MLAs and MPs existing Kangla through western and southern gates.

After the meeting, Arambai Tenggol chief Korounganba Khuman briefed the people and women gathered at Khwairamband Ima Keithel stating that Wednesday's meeting was successful with the support and collective effort of the people.

The meeting cannot be termed successful and it is only the beginning, he said adding that disunity among the valley MLAs compelled the organisation to call the meeting.

He also said that chief ministers, ministers, MLAs and MPs have assured that they would take up demands of the people with the Centre and to act on these demands within 15 days.

If the Centre does not resolve our demands, the ministers, legislators along with the other organisations would launch a massive movement to protect Manipur's territorial integrity and the lives and properties of the people, Korounganba told gathering.

"Arambai Tenggol's intention behind today's meeting was to make it a point that all the ministers and MLAs, including CM, are not above the people.

They can no longer escape and run around in Delhi," said the leader amid roaring applause from the crowd.

Five opposition Congress MLAs, including former three-time Chief Minister (2002-2017) and veteran party leader Okram Ibobi Singh, also participated in Wednesday's meeting.

The Kangla Fort served as the royal seat of the Manipur kingdom till 1891.The erstwhile princely ruled state Manipur merged into the Indian Union in October 1949.Arambai Tenggol called the meeting after Kuki militants, in their stepped-up attacks in the last couple of days, killed many persons, including two Manipur Police commandos, four villagers and a village defence volunteer.

The demands were also put up by the group during a meeting with the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday evening.

The demands include implementation of NRC with 1951 as the base year, abrogation of the SoO agreement with Kuki militants, the deportation of all Myanmarese refugees to Mizoram, border fencing, removal of Assam Rifles and replacing them with other central forces and delisting Kukis from the ST list.

The group leader further informed that they also had rigorous discussions on these demands with the MHA officials and they assured that they would first look into them.

Large numbers of state and central forces personnel were deployed around Kangla Fort since Tuesday to deal with any unwanted incident.

From early Wednesday morning, Arambai Tanggol members came towards Kangla but only few leaders of the group were allowed to enter Kangla.

Arambai Tanggol members gathered at many entry points to Imphal city like Keishamthong, Keishampat, Palace gate and Andro parking, Khurai Lamlong, Uripok, Chingmeirong, Yaiskul and Moirangkhom, Nagamapal, Khoyathong and others till the end of the meeting.

Some days back, 34 MLAs, mostly from the ruling BJP, along with seven Naga legislators urged the Central government to abrogate the SoO with the Kuki militant outfits, otherwise the legislators would take "appropriate action" in consultation with the people.

"If the Government of India is unable to take any positive action as per the resolution, we the legislators will take appropriate action in consultation with the public," said the resolution.

On Sunday, 10 like-minded parties' bloc in Manipur led by the Congress urged the Chief Minister to arrange for an all-party meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss ways and means to resolve the nine-monthlong ethnic violence in the state.

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