IMPHAL, Sept 10: Accusing 43 Assam Rifles of committing “excesses” on volunteers of Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) on September 6, Kuki Students’ Organization (KSO) general headquarters has sought unconditional “public apology” within September 15, failing which a “stringent agitation” would follow.
The KSO through a press statement signed by its vice president Mangcha Baite also sought the resignation of chief minister O Ibobi and the imposition of President`s Rule in Manipur as also disapproved of the committee on reorganizing of administrative and police boundaries.
Disparaging the Army, the KSO “strongly condemned the excesses committed by personnel of 43 Assam Rifles upon general strikers on September 6 at Kangpokpi bazaar” and said that the army “owes a public apology if it still wants to maintain close rapprochements with the people of Sadar Hills.
Inquiry has revealed that the incident (at Kangpokpi) was a conspiracy hatched by the Assam Rifles to avenge the ignominy suffered by two of its “arrogant” officers in the hands of the strikers at Gamgiphai sometimes ago, said the press statement.
“The unpleasant Kangpokpi incident was a well thought out plan by the Assam Rifles personnel who effectively incited the blockade supporters by bringing 40 loaded trucks which finally culminated into a menacing assault on the passive women strikers, who in retaliation set on fire three of the goods trucks,” said the KSO and added that 52 people were seriously injured in the incident of September 6.
The students’ body expressed strong exception to the delay caused by the state government on the demand for a full fledged Sadar Hills district which it said is “fomenting misunderstanding and bad blood between the people of Sadar Hills and other citizens of Manipur.”
Every single day delay in the up-gradation of Sadar Hills into a full-fledged district only exposes the insincerity of the government to solve the month long impasse, it noted.
“It is very unfortunate that even when the legitimacy of the demand is fully acknowledged by all and sundry the government has inanely chosen to look the other way and remained stubborn,” said the KSO.
While observing that the ongoing civil unrest on national highways and across Sadar Hills is the culmination of nearly four decades of tolerance and frustration at government’s apathy, the students’ body described the “people’s action” in taking recourse to economic blockade as the “only viable option to make the government soberly sit up, think and act.”
The KSO also sought the resignation of the chief minister, Okram Ibobi Singh, if he “lacks the courage” to fulfil SHDDC’s demand of a full-fledged Sadar Hills district.
“He (Ibobi) may as well resign and let someone capable and courageous enough to take up the mantle of governance of the state,” said the KSO and added that the current state of affairs under the present government is pathetic and the imposition of President Rule would be a welcome respite.
Terming the government’s “hasty move” in constituting a committee on reorganization of administrative and police boundaries as a “sinister ploy to create confusion and to further complicate” the Sadar Hills demand, the KSO said that “it amply proved the hypocrisy of the government which is loathing and unacceptable to the people as Sadar Hills already has well defined district administrative and geographical boundary over the decades.”