SPT/UKL/CDL/TML, Nov 28 : Even as the 48hrs deadline set by the UNC to release its president Gaidon Kamei and information and publicity secretary Sankhui Stephen Lamkang expired today, the apex Naga body did not announce any new form of agitation as expected but the ongoing economic blockade will continue.
Amidst restriction of vehicular movement along NH-2 and closure of business establishments, a huge public gathering was organized at Senapati town today to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the UNC leaders who were arrested at Pheidinga while on their way to Senapati on November 25.
Attended by civil bodies including UNC, ANSAM, Naga Women Union, NPMHR, NPO, SDSA, SDWA, local bodies, village leaders and members from different villages, the gathering dispersed after a prayer.
Addressing the gathering, UNC vice-president Wargam Tongsing lambasted the State Government for arresting the two UNC leaders instead of trying to resolve the present imbroglio.
While demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the two leaders, he announced that the UNC is expecting an official communication from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on the current issue in Manipur.
While awaiting a response from the MHA, the collective demand and stance of the Nagas remain the same and that is to strongly oppose the creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam districts and release of the UNC leaders at the earliest.
Sources said that before the public gathering, a closed door meeting of Naga civil bodies and Senapati Tribe Hohos was held where the house was updated on the different memoranda submitted to Prime Ministers of India by Naga civil bodies, memoranda to Union Home Ministers by the Naga Hoho and others.
It may be noted that Naga organizations in Manipur had given 48 hours’ time to the Manipur Government to release UNC president Gaidon Kamei and information secretary Sankhui Stephen unconditionally, “failing which the O Ibobi Singh Government shall be held responsible for any eventuality”.
The 48 hours’ deadline expired at 4 pm today. An emergency marathon meeting was held on Saturday at Senapati DHQs which was participated by UNC leaders, district based apex organizations, tribe based organizations, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Naga Women Union (NWU), Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights-South Sector (NPMHR-S), Naga Political Leaders Forum, Manipur (NPLFM), former UNC presidents/executives, activists and Naga leaders.
During the meeting, it reaffirmed the resolutions of the UNC ‘Presidential Council Meeting’ of November 10, 2016. It further reaffirmed the resolutions of November 25, 2016. The “attempts” of the Manipur Government to interpret the ongoing ‘movement’ under the aegis of the UNC as a legal issue was also derided during the meeting. “Our ongoing movement is to defend our ancestral lands and our rights,” said a resolution adopted during the meeting.
At Ukhrul too a large number of people started streaming in at the mini-secretariat where a public meeting was organised by the Tangkhul Naga Long.
Leaving nothing to chance, the district administration beefed up security well ahead of the scheduled meeting and deployed sufficient number of police personnel to thwart any untoward incident. The people started moving towards the mini-secretariat from about 1 pm and awaited the decision of the UNC on whether to prolong the public demonstration demanding the unconditional release of the 2 UNC leaders.
The district administration took up adequate measures to meet any emergency and under the instructions from the Deputy Commissioner, fire brigade, ambulance, doctors and nurses were kept on the alert near the venue of the public meeting. Security personnel were also kept on the alert to meet any situation. During the public gathering roads were blocked and vehicular movement was restricted in and around the area of the public meeting for about 3 hours.
TNL vice president Peimi pronounced a special prayer for the two arrested UNC leaders before the mass dispersed. At Tamenglong, a massive rally was held demanding the ‘unconditional release’ of the two UNC leaders arrested by the Manipur police few days ago. The people strongly condemned the act of Manipur Government. In Chandel too, the people responded well to the call of the UNC. Prayers were held as people gathered near the office of the Deputy Commissioner. Villagers from far and near came to the district headquarters to participate in the event.
Source: The Sangai Express