Manipur Protests Imposition of Article 371 A

REPORTAGE

The United Committee of Manipur staged a mass rally in Imphal to demand protection of the state’s integrity and unity and had requested no one to disturb their coexistence and cooperation.

The New Leam Staff

Image Source : www.pothashang.in

MANIPUR : The people of Manipur have stood together once again to save the territorial integrity of the state. Opposing the framework agreement signed between the Government of India and Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland – Isak- Muivah (NSCN-IM), United Committee Manipur(UCM) – group of civil bodies, staged a mass rally in Imphal on Wednesday.

The rally began from the Tiddim Ground, Kwakeithel and passed through the streets of Manipur to finally end at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex.

A public meeting was held just after the rally, where a three points resolution was passed asserting firstly  that the ethnic, cultural, political, social, historical, economic identity of Manipur will never be compromised; secondly Article 371(A)or a similar Bill and autonomous regional council must not be extended inside the territorial boundary of Manipur and thirdly if the government of India and Manipur go against the interests of citizens, the people will take “Independent decisions to save Manipur”.

Thousands of people protested in the rally against the government’s intention to disintegrate the state of which 4,000 members were from Universal Friendship Organisation (UFO) and nearly 100 people from the differently-abled persons from the Disabled Development Association Manipur, several students, political activist, and civil society groups participated in the rally which was organised by the United Committee of Manipur (UCM).

Paramilitary forces and police were deployed to ensure safety and security in Imphal. State of Manipur observed a complete shutdown organised by United Naga Council on Wednesday educational institutions and public offices remained closed to observe the “October mass rally 2018”.

Slogans like “No extension of article 371(A) in Manipur”, “No compromise in Manipur’s boundary”, “Long live Manipur and grow together”, “Article 371 (A) or 6th schedule will not be allowed implementation”, “Manipur to shall stand as it is, we want Manipur to stay as it is, Let it continue being Manipur as it is”, were shouted by the protesting crowd.

As reported the people of Manipur felt that the centre’s decision to extend the boundary of article 371 (A) would lead to the disintegration of the Manipur state. Sunil Karam, Preident UCM asserted that it is a show of the people’s resolve to safeguard Manipur and determine their own future and if the issue arises yet again then a more ferocious form of agitation might come to save the integrity of the state.

People are protesting against the framework agreement signed between NSCI (I-M) and the government of India to conclude the several yearlong Naga peace talk. Where it was decided to give special status to the Naga inhibited places in Manipur, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and this would result in the further extension of the article 371A and also the disintegration of Manipur. As alleged by the people of Manipur, giving special status to Manipur is centre’s strategy to disintegrate all the three states.

Article 371 A will give special status to the people of Nagaland and by the virtue of which the state will henceforth be governed by customary laws in which even the parliament of India will not be able to interfere.

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With the application of this article on Manipur which is currently governed by article 371 (c) it would mean a creation of state within a state with no government interference, such kind of policy design by the government is an unnecessary design to trouble the people of the state and play by the policy of ‘divide and rule’.

Understanding this unfathomable policy of the government, people of Manipur have shown resistance against the same with their full capacity.

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