Following the violent incident on Thursday night at Churachandpur district wherein some miscreants set ablaze an open gym that was to be inaugurated by Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Friday, the CM cancelled his visit to the district and instead warned of stern action against the perpetrators of the violence.
CM Biren was invited for the inaugural function of the open gym that has been set up by MLA LM Khaute, former DGP of the state, and was to address a public event at Sadbhavna Mandop in New Lamka Churachandpur.
The occasion was also to mark the first anniversary of the former DGP being elected as the people’s representative to the Manipur Legislative Assembly from Churachandpur assembly constituency.
However, late Thursday night, miscreants vandalised the venue damaging chairs, properties and burning down the open gym that was to be inaugurated by the CM.
As per reports, the Manipur police had resorted to shelling teargas at the mob that had gathered outside the gate of PT Sports Complex.
Reacting to the incident, Biren said that stern action will be taken against the perpetrators very soon and that he will visit Churachandpur when MLA Khaute is once ready to mark his first anniversary as an MLA.
“Some unknown arrogant persons destroyed property due to the problem among themselves and that is normal,” CM said, adding that the event was not organised by the government but it was an anniversary event of MLA Khaute and he was invited to inaugurate the open gym.
CM Biren said that carrying out mischievous instances by unknown miscreants is a normal issue as miscreants are everywhere. Interestingly, the CM stated that the incident was not against the government but an internal matter of the constituency.
“No one can hamper any kind of developmental work. Those who are involved in such anti-development activities, anti-social activities will not be spared. It is the BJP government’s commitment”, Biren said, adding that the BJP government will not tolerate such anti-social elements.
Sources said that this is a reaction to several steps initiated by the government of Manipur under the leadership of the chief minister N Biren such as demolition of churches and eviction drives in some hill areas to evict encroachers from forest and reserve forest.
Further, sources also informed that a group of tribal communities claimed that declaration of protected forest, reserved forest, wildlife sanctuaries and wetlands has been declared at tribal lands, it is an attempt to drive tribals out of their ancestral lands.
It also claimed that the tribals are facing the biggest threat to their lands and violation of their constitutional and legal rights, and that they are denied their rights in local self-government. Another reason for the violence is the government’s refusal to conduct autonomous district council elections for the past year and a half.
Meanwhile, our Churachandpur correspondent has added that prohibitory orders under
section CrPC 144 has been clamped, particularly at New Lamka area of Churachandpur district, while Internet services have been shut down in Churachandpur district for 5 days following the incident.
In the meantime, the total shutdown called by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) witnessed miscreants pelting stones at the thanking program of the MLA of Churachandpur assembly constituency, resulting in the arrest of at least 10 volunteers of ITLF. One police sustained injuries during the scuffle and the police also retaillated with the firing of many rounds of tear gas shells. As many as three houses were affected with the tear gas shells, sending the residents into a panic.
The attack by the bandh volunteers was reportedly caused by the rumors that the chief minister was still coming to Churachandpur. The ITLF stated that there was no positive response from the Manipur state government on the issue concerning the “infringement upon tribal rights,” and that also led to the cancellation of the thanksgiving program.
It may be mentioned that the incident of violence and confrontation that started around 12.40 pm continued till late in the afternoon.
Churachandpur assembly constituency MLA LM Khaute called a press conference in the afternoon at his residence. He said that as a mark of respect to the people’s genuine displeasure against the government, he had asked the chief minister not to come. As the situation did not permit, he also asked for the cancellation of his thanksgiving programme, he said. He urged the locals to maintain peace and expressed that he believes in the people of his constituency, who are peace loving. He further expressed hope that normalcy will soon prevail.
Source said that in the afternoon, talks were held between IGP rank 3, IK Muivah and various students union leaders of the district at secretariat Complex, Tuibong. Muivah agreed to release all detainees from various pockets of the district unconditionally and CSOs agreed to suspend their agitation.
In a note of appreciation, the information and publicity department of ITLF stated that the total shutdown they imposed was a success and thanked the general public and the CSOs for their cooperation.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter on the prevailing issue in Churachandpur.
“While entire Team Modi is fixated on Karnataka, Churachandpur in Manipur has turned into almost a war zone only a year after the BJP got a decisive majority in the state. The double engine there is blowing up! Neither the Union govt or the national media is bothered about it,” he tweeted.