Dear Ms Ratika Yumnam,
It has come to our notice that Mr. Yumnam Devjit, S/o Mr Yumnam Joykumar who is a party member of NPP and is currently the Deputy Chief Minister of the state under the BJP-NPF-NPP coalition government in Manipur and brother of Ms. Ratika Yumnam (D/o Mr. Yumnam Joykumar), National Youth President, NPP has created a tense situation among the citizens of Manipur with communal undertones. Mr. Yumnam Devjit, on 2nd September 2017, the auspicious day of Eid-ul-adha, had posted a status update in his facebook account stating that Qurbani, according to him, is nothing but training the Muslims (Pangals in this context) to kill people. The original Facebook post reads thus: “Kurbani Kaina, sha hatpa, mi hatpa heinaba practice touhanbani ni. Atei keim nte.” Since then many civil bodies of Manipur have poured in condemnation regarding the said statement by Mr. Yumnam Devjit.
On 3th September 2017, the Manipur Muslim Welfare Organization (MMWO) submitted
a complaint against Mr. Yumnam Devjit Singh at the Cyber Crime Police Unit, Imphal. The
next day, there was a brief road blockade at the Hatta area in the evening demanding Mr.
Yumnam Devjit’s punishment. The Muslim Council Manipur, the All Manipur Muslim
Development Committee and the Lilong local council (Thoubal district) of All India Tanzeem-eInsaaf also demanded the state government to take action against Devjit for hurting the religious sentiments of the Pangals of the state. The All Manipur Muslim Organization Coordinating Committee (AMMOCC), on 5th September 2017, has also lodged a complaint against Devjit with the Cyber Crime Police Unit, Imphal. Prominent student bodies like All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) and Pangal Students’ Organisation (PSO) have also condemned the communal statement of Mr. Yumnam Devjit. Unfortunately the Cyber Crime Police Unit of Imphal has declined the complaint filed by the civil bodies on the ground that the case cannot be taken under the Information Technology Act, 2000 and has refused to file an FIR against Mr. Yumnam Devjit.
It is a known fact that the Muslims in Manipur, the Pangals/Meitei-Pangals, have been
living in Manipur for many generations. Muslim settlement in Manipur started in 1606 A.D.
during the reign of king Khagemba (1597-1652) and the incoming Muslims were permeated in the four districts of Manipur namely Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishenpur.
The community formation of Pangals began through kinship relation with the Meiteis by marriage and thus they were absorbed into the larger Meitei society of the valley. They have adopted and were integrated into the Meitei community save for their faith by accepting the nomenclature Pangal to identify themselves. Since then, they have become one of the ethnic communities of Manipur settled mainly in the valley co-existing with the Meiteis.
Manipur, as we know, has been troubled again and again by ethnic tensions and clashes.
The state has witnessed three major ethnic clashes in the recent decades; the Kuki-Naga clashes in the 1990s, the Meitei-Pangal clashes in 1993 and the Kuki-Paite clashes in 1997. On May 3, 1993, an uncalled for situation emerged between two ethnic communities of the Manipur Valley, between the Meiteis and the Pangals. Though the Meitei-Pangal clash lasted only for a few days, the damage done was irreparable. As reported by media, ninety seven Pangals were killed and several houses were burned down while there were two Meitei casualties. The bitterness continues to haunt the communities till today. This was one of the ugliest ethnic clashes that has shadowed Manipur. We do not want this history repeating itself.
Considering the existence of bitterness between the two communities which no one can
deny and the recent provocation by Mr. Yumnam Devjit directed towards the Pangals we would like to bring to your notice that he is deemed fit to be booked under:
1. Section 153 (A) of IPC (promoting communal enmity between religious groups), a nonbailable offence,
2. Section 295 (A) of IPC (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli-gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli-gious beliefs), a non-bailable offence.
3. Section 268 of IPC (Public nuisance.—A person is guilty of a public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal omission which causes any common injury, danger or annoyance to the public or to the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity, or which must necessarily cause injury, obstruction, danger or annoyance to persons who may have occasion to use any public right. A common nuisance is not excused on the ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.)
Further, we would like to bring to your attention the fact that even after stating on his
facebook that he did not mean to harm the sentiments of any community subsequently, Mr. Yumnam Devjit has been constantly posting provocative posts that are anti-minority and antifaith with such gross impunity and no signs of remorse. He has successfully instigated the uninformed youths of Manipur to verbally attack the Pangal people’s faith and practices, thereby creating an atmosphere of dangerous enmity among the people in Manipur. It makes us suspect that he has a larger aim of destabilising the hard-won fragile peace of our land and we are afraid that he might not be acting alone. It is therefore imperative that Mr. Yumnam Devjit be handed over to the concerned authorities of Manipur for making anti-minority statements and provoking the public with communal intent, and let the law of the land prevail.
As the newly appointed National Youth President of NPP, we would like you to set an
example to the youth of Manipur by committing to hold Mr. Yumnam Devjit accountable for his actions according to the law of the land. As his sister and a family member, we would like you to take the moral responsibility and bring a closure to this unfortunate incident. Furthermore, it is distressing to learn that the said Yumnam family, in their defence, have alleged that the Pangal community is trying to sabotage the political career of the current Deputy CM. Such an accusation is an insulting tactic that aims to silence the legitimate protests of a minority community by trying to divert the issue and instead put the blame on the already assaultedcommunity by Mr. Yumnam Devjit.
Considering the events that have unfolded after the outrageous Facebook post by Mr.
Yumnam Devjit, there is enough evidence to establish that he is a public nuisance. We would like you to use your official position as National Youth President of NPP to pressure the Government of Manipur to take immediate actions against Mr. Yumnam Devjit and help us restore the peace of the land and build harmony and unity and not allow the ugly history to repeat.
We request the following from you:
1. An official letter of condemnation from the National Youth President, NPP
2. A formal official complaint to the relevant police department of Manipur highlighting the
aforementioned IPCs from the Youth Wing of NPP. This will help the police book the
culprit Mr. Yumnam Devjit under the correct IPCs.
We look forward to a positive and action-oriented response from you.
Dated: 20 September 2017
Place : Manipur
The Concerned Citizens of Manipur
This Press Release was sent by Manipur Students, who can be contacted at msad(dot)manipur(at)gmail(dot)com.