Manipuri Muslims hold rally in Imphal

Preoccupied by Ningol Chakouba festival, Imphal was relatively peaceful in the last few days as demonstrations related with Naga peace talks were staged at few places resumed only on Tuesday.

Even as Ningol Chakouba, the biggest non-religious festival in which married women were invited at their parental homes to a special feast will be celebrated widely October 30 , some celebrated it a day earlier on Tuesday.

Government is to observed general holiday tomorrow for the festival. However, based on some unofficial calendars, the festival was celebrated today but by the mass.

Amidst the confusion of the festival day, protest demonstrations as part of alert campaign of the Coordination Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) were staged at few places in Imphal and its outskirt.

One of the alert marches was carried out by Pangals (Manipuri Muslims), targeting Chief Minister’s Secretariat, was stopped by the police after a brief march.

The rally, participated by hundreds of Pangals including a large number of women, kicked off from Lilong Bazar in Thoubal district bordering Imphal and marched towards Imphal along the Imphal-Moreh section of NH-102.

The rally was however stopped by the police before protestors crossed Lilong Bridge, marking Thoubal-Imphal border where protestors engaged in a brief struggle with the police armed with riot gears.

As the protestors refused to disperse, police allowed leaders of the Pangal based CSOs to proceed to Chief Minister’s Secretariat in Imphal along with the police to submit a memorandum.

After submitting the memorandum highlighting Pangals’ stand for the protection of Manipur’s territorial integrity, the CSO leaders announced its support to the proposed 20-hour general strike called by COCMI on October 31

COCOMI, on Monday, announced a 20-hour general strike from 4 am of October 31 till midnight of the same day, the day the Centre set as deadline to conclude the process for peace negotiation with Naga rebel groups.

Vice president of Popular Front of India (PFI) Mufti Arshad who was the among the leaders of the CSOs organising the rally said that the rally was carried out to show solidarity to COCOMI’s ongoing alert campaign.

He said that Pangal based CSOs were ready to extend all possible supports to COCOMI fighting for the protection of territorial integrity of Manipur and against any move by the Centre’s that will sow the seed for disintegration of Manipur.

He demanded that India government must respect the unity and integrity of people of Manipur co-existing in harmony since time immemorial. While submitting the memorandum, chief minister N Biren Singh reiterated his government’s firm stand on the protection of territorial integrity of Manipur and oneness, Arshad claimed.

He then cautioned the Centre that of any clause infringing on the unity and integrity of Manipur included in the proposed final agreement to be signed with the NSCN(IM).

The PFI vice president expressed concern over disruption in the harmonious existence among different communities in the state because of divisive policy of India government.

The rally participated by hundreds of people belonging to Pangal community settling in different parts of the state was carried out under the aegis of various Pangal based CSOs like All Manipur Muslim Students Organisation (AMMSO), AMMOCOC, AMMOC, ALADA, ANJUMAN, AMMDO, RAUCO, PLYDO, ASPO, LBADC, UMWDA, UMYF, AMMUCO, PFI (Popular Front of India) etc.

Sit-in-protests cautioning the Centre of any clause hurting the interest of Manipur included in the proposed final agreement of the Naga peace negotiation without prior consultation with the stakeholders were also staged at some places in Imphal and its outskirts on Tuesday

News coverage:- nagalandpost