Manipur Tribal student bodies condemn Delhi incident, calls for 24 hours shut down

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IMPHAL, June 8: Hill-based tribal students’ bodies on Wednesday expressed strong displeasure and condemned the Delhi incident wherein several “peaceful and unarmed” tribal protesters were “assaulted and detained” by Delhi Police and Manipur Rifles personnel.

At the backdrop of the “brutality” committed by Delhi Police and Manipur Rifles personnel posted at Manipur Bhavan, Sadar Patel Marg, New Delhi, the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) along with the sister organisations—Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) and All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM)—convened an emergency consultative meeting at Nagaram here today to reason together on the burning issue, ATSUM information and publicity secretary Micah Kamei informed in a statement.

It said that after much deliberation, the three organisations unanimously adopted a resolution to condemn the “brutality and highhandedness” exhibited by the Delhi Police and Manipur Rifles personnel.

The unprecedented use of “excessive force” against the peaceful and unarmed tribal protesters is unwarranted, the statement said and adding that the peaceful protest outside the Manipur Bhavan took a violent turn followed by an unexpected ambush of lathi charge from Delhi Police personnel without prior warning in gross violation of the standard of operating procedures, resulting in a number of tribal civilian casualties with cuts and bruises from head to toe.

ATSUM said pelting of stones by occupants of the Bhavan from upstairs, thrashing, kicking and slapping irrespective of men and women protesters, molestation of women by Delhi police and detention of 60 individuals including 12 women in police custody more than 12 hours is something that remains to be clarified at the earliest by the concerned authority.

The hill-based tribal students’ organisations encompassing the federating units of the three students’ apex bodies laud the Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi (MTFD) leaders and protesters for their sacrifices and unflinching support in the effort to achieve the desired goal of the tribals, the union said.

While extending solidarity to the tribal students living in Delhi, especially the MTFD, the ATSUM shall take up any course of agitation in Manipur in consultation with the forum over the incident, the statement said.

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