Dated Tahamzam, 23rd December, 2012
The Naga civil societies have already stated their stand on the reported incident of the manhandling of Actress Momoko by one Livingstone at Chandel on 18 December, 2012. The guilty should face the hands of justice. Nagas have also requested to call off the bandh. But the unannounced indefinite bandh enforced in Imphal valley of Manipur with effect from midnight of 21st December by the Film Forum Manipur & Manipur State Shumang Leela Council and others in protest against the reported incident of the manhandling has been so consummately orchestrated by communal forces of the Imphal valley and the communal Government of Manipur so that the life, property and movement of Nagas have been left without any protection.
In the last 42 hours Nagas preparing the Churches for Christmas celebration in Imphal areas were not allowed to continue their works in the church premises. Coffins of dead bodies being taken to villages were disrespectfully banged upon and their free passage disturbed. Nagas have been beaten up at Khongjom. A Naga village at Lanthung Ching has been provoked into physical clash with warnings to leave the valley and go back to the hills. Buses and passengers carrying Nagas from Imphal to the native villages have been forcibly stopped by mobs in the valley in full view of state police forces and the passengers pulled down and divested of their personal belongings, which were burnt and destroyed. Vehicle belonging to Tribals and Nagas have been stoned and shot at with catapults. Church goers have not been allowed to go to attend the Sunday service. The slogans from PA systems in the localities of Imphal valley are “There will be a war between Meities and Haos”, “Every Naga will be killed”. Many more other reports are pouring in. The narration can go on. There is no government and no rule of law.
The threat of violence that have been freely aired in seminars, workshops, ISTV programmes on a daily basis from Imphal valley is being acted out. The communal forces in Imphal valley have been equating the impending settlement of the Indo-Naga issue with a “time bomb” in public discourses and have been stridently inciting sentiments against the same. The threats freely given out in the public domain and in the ears of the State Government has finally come into place. Why were prohibitive orders not passed when the State Government was very much aware that such rioting and violence were going to happen? The State Government remained a mute spectator which implies that the violent drama has been sponsored by it. To add to the unfortunate situation, His Excellency, the Governor of Manipur remains deafeningly silent while the constitution of the country and the rule of law is being overrun by the communal forces.
The Manipur State Home Minister is on record that the issue of manhandling of Actress Momoko came to the Government’s notice only after 48 hours had elapsed. The bandh was announced all of a sudden without any prior information. The preplanned attacks indicates without any doubt that the communal forces were waiting for an excuse that was provided by the reported Momoko incident. The main target of the communal forces was to disturb the celebration of Christmas. It is a premeditated attack on Nagas and on Christians. The aberration of one man has been heaped upon the entire Naga people. A localized incident, which had no political or communal issue has been capitalized and blown out of proportion very obviously to disturb the impending Indo-Naga settlement.
We reiterate again that Nagas are not communal. The law of the land must address the crime. What we are saying is that we are different people with different cultures and ways of life and we cannot be together. What we want is the peaceful parting of ways and to march on to the future as good neighbours. Should the attacks on our people not be stopped, we will have no option but to adopt our own course of actions.
United Naga Council