Press Statement on 72 hours bandh in Naga areas

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PRESS STATEMENT
Dated Tahamzam, 24rd December, 2012

We are constrained to reiterate the Naga people’s position on the reported manhandling incident at Chandel that the law of the land must act upon the guilty. Nagas have requested for lifting the bandh and given public statement that left without option we would take our own course of action. The communal Government of Manipur pretends to restore law and order through a police force that refuses to enforce it. Meanwhile the insult & humiliation; destruction of personal belongings, commodities and vehicles and physical assault on Nagas continues unabated in the capital of Manipur. This time it is a direct attack on the celebration of Christmas and Christianity. Even churches have not been spared and set on fire.

The Government of India has been asked to intervene as there is no government or rule of law and the mob of communal forces in Imphal valley have taken over vide the memorandum dated 23rd December, 2012 addressed to the Prime Minister of India. Government of India therefore is also responsible for the continuation of the anarchy in Imphal valley and the targeting of Nagas in particular. This mayhem has continued more than 68 hrs in full view and knowledge of the Government. Heinous crimes of rape and murder which abounds in Manipur have not seen such systematic communal campaign.

Even after the Film Forum Manipur & Manipur State Shumang Leela Council had called off the indefinite bandh with effect from the midnight of 23rd December, 2012, the tribals heading for respective villages for Christmas on 24th December, 2012 from outside the state and from Imphal valley with state police escorts were attacked, their belongings seized and destroyed and physically assaulted and this continues to this hour. The earlier camouflage of the Chandel manhandling issue has now been discarded as the organisers of the bandh have lifted it off. There is no more issue behind the agitation targeting Nagas and is now purely a communal campaign.

Now the whole world knows that this onslaught is premeditated and has been wilfully done and not through an error in judgement. The unbridgeable difference between the Tribals in Manipur and the Meiteis – historically, culturally, socially and even in religion has been brought out in greater clarity. Starting from the Chief Minister, political parties, social scientists and civil society organisations of the Meiteis, these differences have been affirmed with their persistent utterance of “civil war”, “bloodbath” and “time bomb” in public platforms in relation to communal inter-relationship.

In view of the given situation where the communal Government of Manipur has allowed communal forces to persistently attack the Nagas in particular, it is our demand that the Government of India intervene immediately with an alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur.

In pursuance of this urgent demand to the Government of India and to register our protest against the unabated communal attacks, a 72(seventy-two) hours bandh will be observed in the Naga areas with effect from the midnight of 26th December, 2012 to the midnight of 29th December, 2012. All Manipuri video and music CDs/cassettes, dramas and leelas will also be banned in Naga areas with immediate effect.

All Tribes Councils, frontal organisations and general Naga public will strictly enforce the above in their respective jurisdictions.

Publicity Wing
United Naga Council

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