‘Tribal Solidarity March’ taken out across hill dists
Tribal Solidarity March


TMB Report 

Imphal: Fresh violence erupted in Churachandpur district on Wednesday afternoon after a spell of calm over the preceding days. As the day progressed, tensions spread to other areas as tribal groups in the hill districts came together in a solidarity rally for what they describe as an effort to secure their rights and constitutional safeguards.

While the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the seven hill districts under the aegis of All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), separate demonstrations were held in a few valley areas against the ATSUM-spearheaded rallies.

Incidents of arson and stone-pelting were subsequently reported from parts of Churachandpur and neighbouring valley district of Bishnupur. Several houses were reportedly burnt down and a few people sustained injuries in the clashes.

According to ATSUM, the solidarity march was taken out to “protect the interest of the tribals” against the demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status by a section of non-tribals or the Meiteis in the valley areas. 

During the rally in Churachandpur, unidentified miscreants resorted to arson at several localities like Bungmual, Singnat, Muallum and Mata Mualtam. A few forest beat offices were set on fire in these areas.

Eyewitnesses described stone-pelting between groups of local residents in the Kangvai Torbung area of Churachandpur after reports of an arson attack at the Anglo-Kuki War Memorial in Bishnupur’s Moirang, around 10 km away. 

Police in the two districts resorted to firing tear gas shells to disperse the agitating protesters.

Unknown miscreants torched Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Gate at Leisang Village, about 3 Km from Churachandpur Police Station, leading to a conflict situation between the two communities, reports our Churachandpur Correspondent

At least 17 persons were injured and one was left in critical condition in Churachandpur District Hospital.

After the rally, a memorandum was submitted to the President of India through the Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur.

“The Solidarity March” under the banner, “Come Now Let us Reason Together” in Kangpokpi district ended peacefully despite all eyes the rally with high apprehension of violence again. The rally was taken part by more than 5000 people across Kangpokpi district.

The rally marched toward the Deputy Commissioner Kangpokpi’s office from Brig. M.Thomas Ground where some ATSUM leaders accompanied by various other tribal organisation leaders met the Deputy Commissioner and submitted a memorandum addressed to the President of India for forwarding the same to the President.

The ATSUM team thanked the District Administration and District Police for taking extreme precautionary measures to ensure no untoward incidents happen during the solidarity rally while the Deputy Commissioner also conveyed her gratitude to the ATSUM team for maintaining a peaceful and calm rally.

The common memorandum was submitted by the all tribe apex body of Kangpokpi District including Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi, Thadou Inpi Kangpokpi, Gangte Tribe Union, Vaiphei People’s Council, etc.

All shops in Kangpokpi town were closed during the solidarity rally while private educational institutions also declared holidays today. However, vehicles were seen plying along the highway normally while police had a hard time monitoring the traffic and the solidarity rally.

The ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was also taken out in Senapati district wherein the general populace of the Mao, Maram, Poumai, Thangal and Zeliangrong communities of the district participated. The rally was organised by the Senapati District Students Association (SDSA). 

Meanwhile, the State Government has ordered suspension of mobile data services in the territorial jurisdiction of the State for the next five days with immediate effect from the time this suspension order becomes operational.    An order to this effect was issued by the Commissioner (Home) in the name of the Governor in the afternoon.