IMPHAL, January 21: The Co-ordination Committee (CorCom) made of 7 major armed groups of Manipur; the National Democratic Front of Bodoland; the National Liberation Front of TWIPRA (NLFT); the Tripura People`s Democratic Front (TPDF) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has in a joint press statement called for a mass boycott of the India’s Republic Day Celebration on January 26, 2013 as a mark of resistance against what it termed as “Indian Occupation of the Region.” “There is a clear image of Indian colonial racism manifested in the suppression of human rights under martial and Draconian law such as the Armed Forces Special Power’s Act, 1958 and other forms of suspension of fundamental rights. Extra judicial killings, inhuman torture, fake encounter and sexual harassment in the region are routinely carried out to suppress the freedom struggle of our indigenous people,” it alleged. Continuing that “A silent and systematic population invasion has been instrumentalized in the region through promotion of influx of outsiders to uproot the culture and identity, take absolute control of the economic resources and political power so that it can easily assimilate to the Indian mainland to their whims”, the joint statement further alleged that `the Indian State besides smuggling of illegal drugs through secret agents is also indulging in many forms such as plantation of poppy plants in the regions soil to degenerate health and morale of the people.”
It added, “There is heavy investment in militarization and policing as we have seen in the cases of upgraded suppressive machinery such as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) which are being designed to carry unrestrained brutality on peoples’ movement and function along with enforcement of divide and rule policy among the Region’s people along communal lines to tighten its colonial grasp.” The joint statement also said that repeated assertions for sovereignty in the region by its own people has exposed all the crimes and propaganda of the Indian State. Under the mask of Cease Fire, SoO (Suspension of Operation), Home Coming Ceremonies, Military Civic Action Programs, etc.” Saying that these circumstances impeded the enjoyment of equality, freedom and liberty like any other Indian by the people, it said that Freedom and Independence is the only solution. ” We, therefore declare to boycott this day and beseech the people of the Region to support the general shut-down,” it said. The shut down according to the release will be effective from 01:00 Hrs to 17:30 Hrs on 26 January 2013. During these hours, all trade and commercial activities, all forms of public entertainment and all kinds of public and private transportations must not operate in our region, it said though emergency measures, essential services, media and religious activities are exempted from its purview.