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12-hr bandh peaceful

Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and deputy chief minister Gaikhangam (left) visit the injured in Imphal on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Imphal, Aug. 31: The 12-hour strike called by the All Naga Students’ Union, Manipur across Naga-inhabited areas of the state since last evening against the killing of two protesters in police firing at Ukhrul yesterday passed off peacefully.

The Manipur government announced ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the victims.

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who declared the ex gratia, also assured financial help to those injured in the police action and were undergoing treatment.

The chief minister, who visited the injured at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences this morning, said maintaining law and order was imperative to protect the lives and property of the people.

“Deployment of security forces and imposition of prohibitory orders are not to harass people. The security personnel deployed at Ukhrul have been instructed to ensure that such unfortunate incidents are not repeated. We are waiting for the post-mortem report to institute any inquiry into the incident,” he said.

The chief minister was accompanied by deputy chief minister and home minister Gaikhangam, Deputy Speaker Preshaw Shimray and health minister Phunjathang Tonsing.

Police resorted to firing after protesters at a rally allegedly turned violent and set two vehicles carrying police personnel on fire.

The rally was organised to protest against the deployment of security forces in the Naga-inahbited areas, particularly in Ukhrul district, by the state government “in utter disrespect of the Indo-Naga ceasefire”, state government’s “disrespect for the tripartite talks” between the Centre, state government and the United Naga Council on an alternative administrative arrangement, “which has progressed to a logical stage” and the state government’s policies that encroached upon the ancestral lands of the Nagas and other indigenous communities.

The victims were identified as Ramkashing Vashi and Mayopam Ramraor, both from Teinem village.

The situation in Ukhrul today remained tense and highly volatile.

The district administration has requisitioned army and Assam Rifles, which kept a tight vigil.

The UNC has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minster Narendra Modi asking for urgent intervention of the Centre on the situation of the Nagas in Manipur.

The memorandum stated that the state government was making all efforts to destabilise the Indo-Naga ceasefire through militarisation of Naga areas on the pretext of law and order and thereby prevent early settlement of the decades-old Indo-Naga issue.

The council has called upon the Naga people to be prepared for any eventuality.


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