In a tense standoff, Manipur police successfully prevented a group of protesters from storming Raj Bhavan and the Chief Minister’s Bungalow on Saturday.
The demonstrators had gathered in response to the ongoing aggression by Kuki militants and a legal notice served to Maheshwar Thounaojam, national secretary of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), by the IGAR (South).
The protest, which drew participants from various locations in Keishampat and Keishamthong areas of Imphal West, began with sit-in demonstrations at their respective localities.
Later, a large contingent of protestors attempted to march towards Raj Bhavan and the CM Bungalow but were met with a strong police presence at Keishampat Bridge.
After negotiations between the police and the protestors, five representatives each were granted an audience with the governor and the chief minister to deliver a common memorandum containing six key demands.
The six demands are immediate withdrawal from SoO Agreements with the Kuki Militants, implementation of NRC at the earliest, strict legal action against Kuki Chin militants according to the law, a comprehensive survey of land in hill areas of Manipur, removal of AR from Manipur’s soil and withdrawal of the “Legal Notice” served to Maheshwar Thounaojam.
The memorandum also highlighted incidents where state police were obstructed from performing their duties in Sugnu on June 2 and in Bishnupur district on August 5.
It also called for an investigation into the alleged nexus between the AR and SoO Kuki militants in the context of the ongoing crisis.
The memorandum further pointed out that the present crisis was exacerbated by the complicity of ten Kuki MLAs who demanded separate administration in Manipur.
This demand, vehemently opposed by the 10 Naga MLAs, has raised concerns about the potential for further instability in the state, it mentioned.
Similar protests across the valley featured placards with messages such as “Go back Assam Rifles,” “Implement NRC at the earliest,” “Go back illegal immigrants,” and “Long live Manipur.”
In a heart-warming incident in Thangmeiband area, seven minors halted media personnel on duty and urged them to cover their protest for peace.
With passion, they chanted “We want Peace” in front of the media representatives, underscoring the underlying message of the day’s events.