IMPHAL, Oct 1 : United Committee Manipur (UCM) observed the last day of Langban Thagi HeithaLeithaba at the Great June Uprising Memorial Complex, Kekrupat, today to pay respect to the souls who laid down their lives in the June 18 uprising. UCM president Elangbam Johnson led the prayer to the Almighty for the souls ‘Great Martyrs’. He also wished for peace and unity among the people on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, Johnson said it was totally wrong of the Assam Rifles to release the three NSCN (IM) cadres on September 29 after they were arrested for committing “unlawful activities” in Senapati district.
The security force had said the cadres were released on health ground. The NSCN (IM) has been harassing the people of Manipur and moving around freely even though it is said that the ceasefire agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) is confined to the State of Nagaland alone.
That the Government cannot take up any step against the outfit is getting clearer by the day, he said and added that the NSCN (IM) is responsible for many unwanted incidents on the National Highways like abduction and killing of drivers, workers and officers for ransom. The incident of Irabanta of Nongdam and assault on noted Manipuri film actress Momoko are some of the examples, he added. The State Government’s position on the issue is not clear. When the India Government’s interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, RN Ravi was inquired about all the unlawful and anti-social activities carried out by NSCN (IM) within the boundary of Manipur, he categorically stated that the law and order is a State subject. This has created confusion among the people. Either the Government of India is indulging in double speak or the State Government is exploiting the situation to score political mileage. While the Centre has made it clear that law and order is a State subject, the State Government on the other hand has not been able to take any action against the outfit even when they have established designated camps inside Manipur. “Is the Centre duping the people by indulging in double speak”, asked the UCM president. He further demanded the State Government to announce its stand on the NSCN (IM) issue. The State Government has not initiated any steps even though it knows that NSCN (IM) has set up designated camps which have started functioning inside Manipur, Johnson lamented. “The Government has recruited large number of forces and yet is powerless against NSCN (IM). This only proves that the Government has been making a fool of the common people. One cannot help but wonder if the Government has secretly inked an unlawful ceasefire with the outfit,” he said. Failure on the part of the administration in handling the outfit may invite a mass protest, Johnson warned.