A coalition of 10 ideologically-aligned political parties in Manipur orchestrated a grand procession on Friday afternoon that commenced at the hallowed Congress Bhawan, winding its way through the bustling streets of Imphal, and culminating at the Raj Bhawan.
This monumental rally was a resounding proclamation of the public’s collective voice, resonating with an impassioned plea for the restoration of peace and tranquility within the state.
At its heart, the assembly was a beacon of hope for the preservation of democracy, a cherished ideal that has weathered many storms.
Amid the fervor and fervent calls for change, the coalition’s leaders and participants bore a profound responsibility to offer the promise of adequate relief and rehabilitation to those whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the relentless crisis in Manipur.
The coalition of 10 political parties, comprised of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, Janata Dal (United), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), All India Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, All India
Forward Bloc, Nationalist Congress Party, Shiv Sena (UBT), and the Revolutionary Socialist Party, Manipur, attempted to meet the governor, but she was unavailable as he was out of station.
However, undeterred, they submitted a memorandum to the governor through officials, drawing her attention to the pressing issues and calling for appropriate action.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, CLP leader O Ibobi expressed grave concerns about the failure of both state and central authorities in managing the severe law and order crisis in Manipur. He noted that local civil societies had emerged to address the governance vacuum through various forms of agitation and pronouncements.
Ibobi also highlighted the restrictive measures adopted by the state government that hindered fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and constructive criticism of the government.
He stressed that a vibrant democracy necessitates these rights as checks and balances on the government.
The memorandum strongly condemned the actions of the central and state governments and vigilante groups, which have created panic and obstructed the expression of fundamental rights.
It called for an immediate lifting of such restrictions, emphasising that any unlawful government constraint threatens the democratic ideals enshrined in the constitution of India.
The coalition emphasised the importance of analysing the root causes behind the crisis and urged the central and state authorities to engage in a peace process to restore normalcy in the state.
Regarding the relief packages announced by the governments, the memorandum asserted that they were inadequate in terms of both coverage and quantity.
It called for a comprehensive re-evaluation of relief and rehabilitation efforts for those affected by the crisis.
The memorandum also drew attention to the unresolved issue of the mortal remains of two students, Hijam Linthoingambi and Phijam Hemanjit. Their remains, along with those of many others killed in the violence, are yet to be recovered and handed over to their families.
It expressed the wish of the deceased’s families to perform their last rites according to their faith and requested the governor to facilitate the swift handover of mortal remains.
In conclusion, the memorandum reiterated the readiness of the representatives from the 10 political parties in Manipur to provide full support to government initiatives aimed at resolving the complex issues facing the state.