Speaking to mediapersons at Manipur Press Club here today, STDCM general secretary Col (retd) Laishram Lokendro said that the particular sentence written on page number 225 of the book “Claims & Refutations: Compilation on Inner Line Permit System” is completely untrue. The book published by Centre for Manipur Studies, Manipur University was edited by Homen Thangjam, Sukhdev Sharma Hanjabam and Aheibam Koireng.
Quoting the sentence “Demand for ST status for the Meitei is spearheaded by the Indian intelligence and military who have taken into their folds Manipuri compradors such as the retired army personnel”, Lokendro contended that it was not only retired army personnel who were taking part in the movement for ST status. People of varied professions were actively engaged in the movement. “The matter was first highlighted by DESAM and we are thankful to them for this”, Lokendro said.
The matter could have been dismissed as inconsequential if the allegation was made in some casual or informal talks. But making the same allegation in a book which would go to archives is quite disheartening. Publication of such a book by an educational institution of the highest level like MU ought to be condemned and the entire exercise was aimed at suppressing the movement for ST status. The movement for ST status is based on three far-sighted visions namely protection of Meitei community, extension of the Constitutional safeguard enjoyed by hills to the valley and an egalitarian society across the whole State. Whether people are in favour of the enlistment of Meitei in ST category or nor was demonstrated by the mass rally of September 18.
He said that a legal suit would be filed against the publisher and editors of the particular book.