Manipur popular struggle touches new heights


Govt. were searching to arrest Jagat Thoudam (of AMUCO) not only him and to arrest all the leaders of the various Org. Today 15 August 2004 Indian Independence Day one man call Pebam Chitaranjan (32 Years) try to suicide with Fire and he burns about 85% of his body and he is now in Coma.

The State Cabinet today decided to lift the Disturbed Area Act from the Imphal Municipal areas on a trial basis, in the backdrop of the intense agitation demanding the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State. With the DAA denotified, the AFSPA will automatically lapse in the areas covered under the Imphal Municipality. A notification announcing the revocation of DAA from the said areas was issued by the Special Se- cretary (Home) S Dino-kumar today. Following the decision to revoke the said Act, the 6 SPF MLAs and two Ministers who had threatened to resign from the Assembly have dropped their stand. The CPI too has dropped its ultimatum to snap ties with the SPF. Imphal Municipal area covers an approximate area of 34 square kms and seven Assembly Constituencies and 27 Municipal wards. About 10 per cent of the total population of Manipur live in the Imphal Municipal areas. The Assembly segments which come under the Imphal Municipal areas are Thangmeiband AC, Uripok AC, Keishamthong AC, Yaiskul AC, Wangkhei AC, Singjamei AC and Sagolband AC. The Disturbed Area Act was first introduced in the State at Tamenglong in 1961 and spread to the other parts of the State in phases. The entire State of Manipur was declared disturbed on September 8, 1980.

Speaking at a packed media conference at the CM`s bungalow today evening, Chief Minister O Ibobi said that the Disturbed Area Act has been lifted from the Imphal Municipal areas keeping in mind the sentiments and wishes of the people. Ibobi said that the custodial death of Th Manorama is ample testimony of the fact that the security personnel have been committing excesses and atrocities under the immunity granted by the AFSPA. The demand raised by the people is justified, said the Chief Minister and it was to redress the grievances of the people that the Cabinet decided to lift the DAA from certain parts of the State. The Cabinet met from 11 am and decided to lift the said Act after thoroughly discussing the sentiments and aspirations of the people, he added.

Appealing to the people to accept the partial lifting of the Act, the Chief Minister said that if the law and order situation improves, then the Government will not waste a single minute in lifting the Act from other parts of the State too. State forces will be deployed in full strength to deal with the law and order situation in the denotified areas, said the Chief Minister and cautioned that if the situation turns volatile at the Imphal Municipal areas, then either the Centre or the State Government may re-impose the same Act again. To a question on whether the Centre has agreed to the lifting of the Act, the Chief Minister replied that New Delhi is not keen on lifting the Act as it entails questions of National security and integrity.

Ibobi however assured that the Centre will be asked not to re-impose the Act and to accept the decision of the State Cabinet. As the people could no longer tolerate the excesses and atrocities of the security personnel ever since the AFSPA was imposed in the State, the demand for lifting the Act was raised on such an unprecedented manner, he observed. The Chief Minister also expressed hope that the people of Manipur will extend their co-operation to the decision of the Govt to lift the Act from certain parts of the State. Striking a firm stand, the Chief Minister said that the Government will not tolerate if any organisation or any anti-social elements raise anti-National slogans or try to promote any secessionist movements. On the charges of the Opposition that it is within the rights of the State Govt to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, the Chief Minister said that the Nagaland Government had twice scrapped the said Act but the Centre stepped in and re-imposed the same again. This fact should not be lost on the Opposition, he added.

On Irom Sharmila Chanu, who has been on a fast unto death agitation demanding the revocation of AFSPA since 2000 after the Malom massacre, the Chief Minister said he personally conveyed the decision of the Government to lift the DAA from certain parts of the State to Sharmila today. Ibobi expressed hope that the Sharmila will end her fast soon. Acknowledging the gutsy stand of the young woman, the Chief Minister appealed to all concerned to advise Sharmila to end her fast. Normal life in the capital areas were thrown out of gear today due to imposition of general strike and bandh to protest partial lifting of Disturbed Area Status. In agitation related incidents at various areas of Greater Imphal, 21 persons, including elderly women, were admitted at RIMS and JN hospital for treatment of rubber bullet, tear gas and baton charge injuries during confrontation with security personnel. The clashes occurred at Moirangkhom, Kwakeithel, Tera, Keishampat, Takhel Leikai, Nagaram Dingku Road and Patsoi areas. Out of the injured two youths identified as John Kamson and James Kamson were severely thrashed by State police personnel during a crackdown on general strike supporters at Dingku Road. Lathi-charge bruises could be seen all over their bodies. Significantly, Manipur police personnel also detained three private vehicles along with the drivers who ferried injured persons to RIMS following the Patsoi police station skirmish. They were arrested from RIMS campus while dropping the injured protestors. With agitation supporters coming out in the streets to impose the strike/bandh police resorted to firing rubber bullets and tear gas shells to disperse the protestors who burnt tyres and blocked roads by felling trees and other heavy materials.The general strike call from yesterday might in Greater Imphal areas has been given by Zeliangrong United Clubs Association Manipur with other social and student organizations like AMSU, DESAM and MSF also jointly enforcing bandhs at various areas of the capital districts to protest partial lifting ofAFSPA. As the agitationists blocked the main thoroughfares of the capital districts from midnight security personnel had a torrid time in clearing the debris. All commercial establishments and women vendors at the normally congested Khwairamband market ceased their normal activities in support of the agitation. With vehicles staying off the road many people, caught unaware of the agitation calls were seen stranded at some passenger bus parkings hoping to find some alternative means of transportation. Glass splinters were also scattered at some important junctions intent on discouraging general strike violators from plying through it. However, the strike did not affect daily flight services while the few people that came out despite the agitation were mostly on emergency matter and for religious ceremonies. Police personnel besides dispersing the agitators with tear gas bursts and filing rubber bullets also conducted house to house search at some trouble prone areas to detain agitation supporters.

Chief Minister O Ibobi today visited Sharmila at JN Hospital and appealed to her to end her fast unto death strike. Mention may be made here that Irom Sharmila had been on a fast unto death for the last four years demanding revocation of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the State. Lauding the will and determination of Sharmila who has been fighting a lone battle for the last four years against the imposition of AFSPA in the State, Chief Minister O Ibobi urged Sharmila to break her fast as her demands have been partially fulfilled with the lifting of Disturbed Area Act from some areas under the Imphal Municipal Council. Giving a serious thought to the appeal made by the Chief Minister, a weak looking Sharmila evaded a direct reply but said that she would wait till the AFSPA is withdrawn from the whole State. On insurgency problems confronting the State Sharmila said the Govt should initiate dialogues with the insurgent groups and bring them to the negotiating table so that a meaningful solution can be worked. She also appealed to the Chief Minister to be more sensitve to the insurgency problems as the insurgents are all sons and daughters of the soil. Joining in the conversation with Sharmila, FCS Minister Ph Parijat while informing Sharmila that the Disturbed Area Act have been removed from Wang-khei, Yaiskul, Singjamei, Thangmeiband, Keisham-thong, Sagolband and Uripok on trial basis, appealed to Sharmila to break her fast. Parijat also informed Sharmila that the Act would be lifted gradually from other parts of the State if the trial made by the Govt proves successful. Expressing her satisfaction at the removal of disturb Area status from some areas under the Imphal Municipal Council area, Sharmila said that her demands have been partially fulfilled and was beginning to some light to her long cherished goal. She however declined to say anything on whether she would be break her fast following the positive response of the State Govt. Questioning the rationale behind the partial removal of disturb area status from the State, she said that she would rather wait for the complete removal of the dreaded Act since lifting it partially from some parts of the State does not make any sense as security forces are still allowed to kill innocent civilians in some parts of the States. Recalling the brutal killing of Jamkholet Khongsai by Assam Rifles personnel, Sharmila said that such killings of innocent civilians will continue as long as AFSPA was imposed in the hill dist and therefore urged the Chief Minister to revoke the Act from the whole State.

Imphal West District Magistrate has banned broadcasting of news on local cable network ISTV with immediate effect from today. The District Magistrate issued an order in this connection on `public interest`.

The ban has been imposed as ISTV has violated the provision of Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 by broadcasting daily news programme, added the order. Taking serious note of the ban Working Committee of Apunba Lup termed the action of the Govt as very unfortunate and irrational. The Committee expressed that attempt to suppress the people`s movement will not succeed but rather encourage the people to intensify the ongoing agitation which is already very intimidating. It further stated that the people will carry on the agitation until and unless AFSPA was completely removed from the State. The Lup also condoled the demise of one Konjengbam Memita (24) who died on the way to RIMS hospital after being injured during a stand off with security personnel on August 7. She has been undergoing treatment at Sagolmang PHC for a few days after the said incident. Meanwhile, United People`s Action Committee, Singjamei Chingamakha has condemned the ban imposed on telecasting of news on ISTV describing the order as denial of right of information of the people. The Committee has also appealed to all concerned for lifting the ban in the interest of the people.

Stepping up the ongoing agitation against the killing of Th Manorama and demand for complete revocation of AFSPA from the State, Apunba Lup has today announced of launching "Mipan Tangdaba Khongchat" (emancipation movement) from August 16 onwards. Speaking to media-persons today, spokespersons of Apunba Lup Leitangthem Umakanta, Jagat Thoudam and Oinam Ratan informed that as a first phase agitation all cold drinks and mineral water bottles coming from outside the North East would be boycotted from August 16 onwards as a mark of protest against the indifferent attitude of the State and Central Govts towards the demands of the people. They also added that a new form of agitation called the "Wakat Khongjang" would begin from August 17 to intensify the ongoing agitation. They also informed that members of the Apunba Lup in a meeting held today resolved to demand immediate end to excessive force by State security personnel on peaceful demonstrators, to order an inquiry for punishing all guilty personnel responsible for injuring peaceful protesters during the ongoing agitation, to inquire on atrocities committed by the Central forces since imposition of AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in the State and immediate removal of AFSPA from the entire North East region.

Now Manipuri peoples now want to devide from india as a peacefull country.

Lozen Meetei