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Jiribam incident: Manipuri organizations call for maintaining peace

Silchar, August 11: In view of the raging controversy and the allegations of atrocities, physical and mental, being committed on the non Manipuris of Jiribam sub division under East Imphal district, various Manipuri organizations of Barak Valley have come forward to clarify and refute what are being circulated and reported in the media. After a joint meeting of All Assam Manipuri Students’ Union (AAMSU), Committee on Culture for Peace and Integrity (Cocpin) as well as Manipuri Diaspora, these organizations reached out to the Cachar based Bengali and other group bodies, appealing to them to exercise restraint in the interest of mutual understanding and cooperation.
The leaders of Manipuri organizations cautioned the provocative and misleading statements of Barak based groups would only vitiate the atmosphere and might even aggravate the situation in Jiribam with its fall out in other parts of the state. The Manipuri leaders said that after their ground study in Jiribam, they found that the statements being issued in Cachar were not based on facts. During their visit, they talked to the common people belonging to non Manipuri communities. All of them denied any atrocities being perpetrated on them.
From Barak Valley based Manipuri organizations, S Kamalakanta Singha, chairman, and Raju Singha, secretary of Cocpin, Seram Herajit Singha, president central committee of AAMSU, as well as F Lokenath, vice president, formed part of the delegation for on the spot study of the situation in Jiribam. Along with them were also the leaders of Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit (JCILP) and other Jiribam based organizations of the Manipuri.
After having no confirmation about the reported harassment, physical and mental, the Barak Valley Manipuri organizations were given to understand by the Jiribam based Manipuri organizations including JCILP that the misreporting and misrepresentation on the situation in Jiribam would only harm the traditional good relations between the Bengalis and Manipuris, besides jeopardizing the amity and friendship. In a e-mail message to The Sentinel, Dr I Ibohalbi Singha leader of opposition Manipur clarifies that there will be no deportation from Manipur as there is no base year in the ILP.
He further said ILP would not affect the non Manipuri residents of Manipur. For all the north eastern states, as he said, there would be reciprocal permission to enter the state without any hassle. Under constitutional framework, Dr I Ibohalbi Singha pointed out any Indian can settle anywhere in India including Manipur. The demands made by some organization are to promulgate laws just for the protection of the threatened identity of Manipuri culture, language and its indigenous status.
The Manipuri leaders at the same time took serious exception to the statements of the leaders of Jirighat convention held on August 2 which stated that non Manipuris were confined indoors and subjected to all sorts of harassment. Such allegations are dubbed by them as fictitious as well as concocted. The non Manipuri people of Jiribam have no problem as the movement and agitation for the introduction of ILP is not directed against them.
The Manipuri leaders also claimed that the movement or agitation launched by the JCILP is democratic and constitutional which is aimed at creating pressure on the state government to introduce relevant Bill for its enactment as Act in the state assembly. The leading citizens of Jiribam belonging to Manipuri and non Manipuri communities have appealed to the Barak Valley organizations to keep care of the fact that Jiribam and Barak Valley are dependent upon each other for trade and business and on that exists the better understanding. This should not be disturbed, they said. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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