By R Lester Makang
UKHRUL, September 9: Terming the tragic turn of events in which three innocent Naga lives have been lost in Ukhrul as a calculated infliction upon the Nagas in the State, the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) has said that the State government shown their military might under the façade of maintaining peace and tranquillity in the district.
In a press statement issued by its general secretary Alan Vashum, the apex students body while referring to the tragic August 30 incident and September 9 ambush by unidentified gunmen killing one IRB personnel, maintained that bloodshed amongst the public and their security forces are all but a “leela” to the state government for this was what the government wanted. Expressing concern that several incidents of security convoys being ambushed have occurred and another Naga life is lost, TKS cautioned that the government will now use this as a pretext to blame and victimize the Naga public
Stating that Section 144CrPc was lifted from Ukhrul after almost two months, and the price that paid for that was two precious lives, the students body lamented that it was promulgated when there was peace in the district and revoked when violence occurred. “The paradox is so perverted because this current Chief Minister and his stooges do not seem to know when Section 144CrPc is needed and when it is not.”
“The United Naga Council had called for blockades on all National Highways in protest and also to make several demands, which is as much as anyone can see an inherent right of the Nagas to live as one, free from communal oppression. The state authorities rushed to New Delhi to meet and discuss with the Home Minister. What was the purpose of the visit? Not to deliberate and solve the issue pertaining to the Nagas, but instead to ask for security to transport goods to Imphal valley. The outright arrogance of Ibobi and Gaikhangam is there for all to see. For them, the people of the Hills (tribals) are not an important constituent but just simply a vote bank during election time. Their concern is more so for the people of the valley, rather than uplift the plight of the hills. The Nagas have never been against any community, but have stood firm and united against communal forces-regardless of where they come from. Any right thinking and rational human being would say that what the present Government of Manipur is
doing is communal to the very core,” the statement noted.
Further claiming that the Nagas of Manipur have faced innumerable, negative and communal consequences time and again ever since the Government of Manipur led by CM Okram Ibobi Singh came to power with his pack of corrupt and power hungry stooges as Ministers,TKS rued that it is indeed sad to witness that they have had the least of respect for human lives, human rights and humanity while that they have been doing everything to upset the earthly balance of life in the state.
“What more should one witness to testify against such blatant misuse of power? Today, the world has seen what Okram Ibobi Singh and his Deputy, Gaikhangam have done to the Nagas at large, and to the people of Ukhrul in particular, it further questioned adding that they sent hundreds of Commandos and IRB personnel to “maintain peace and tranquility.” And the Nagas dare to question them, what was so not peaceful and chaotic that they had to take such an extreme step?, it asked.
After the Ukhrul Superintendent of Police Selvan ordered the firing of live rounds into the peaceful protestors with all joyous approval from Ibobi and Gaikhangam, two innocent lives have been taken away from their families. We proudly declare them Martyrs. Yet, Ibobi is adamant to crush and keep the Nagas under his foot. That is why Ukhrul District remains heavily militarized to this very date, and Nagas a tortured community, the statement continued.
Coming down on the government, TKS said that Ibobi and Gaikhangam have done enough damage just for the sake of votes and that they are desperate to retain their seats of power while adding: “We the Nagas challenge them for once in their spineless, characterless, greed and blood filled political careers to do one ounce of good that people can speak of.
“We are done being mute spectators. If any of the elected representatives call themselves a Naga, resign from your seat and join the fight against communalism. We will then know Black and White about where you truly stand-for your people, or for money and power. Always remember, you were elected for a reason by the people. We are all yet to see you prove yourselves accountable to the people who elected you in their right minds-not the ones that were bought for with various incentives. We Nagas will always continue to question whatever integrity is left of the state Government, and also of the Government of India, as to whether they are really sincere in solving the issue of the Nagas or still playing their delaying tactics. Nagas have every right to live under one administrative roof, free from communal oppression, and as free people. Will you let us?” the statement asserted.