Tangkhul women return 16 guns snatched by them from state force to Ukl DC
Source: Hueiyen News Service / NNN

Imphal, June 03 2010: Fifteen SLRs and one Carbine which were reportedly snatched by the irate mob of Ukhrul late last night have been officially handed over to the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Ukhrul, today.

The incident of snatching the weapons occurred late last night during clashes between the angry residents of Ukhrul town and the state security force personnel.

Taking serious note of the situation, DC Ukhrul and SP Ukhrul, as government representatives, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tangkhul Co-ordination Committee after deliberation over the matter in the wee hours of today.

Among others, the memorandum stated that the IRB personnel and police commandos posted at Ukhrul district should be withdrawn within 12 hours, financial assistance should be provided to all the 12 injured persons who are presently undergoing treatment at District Hospital in Ukhrul by the government and all the security personnel involved in the firing incident should be penalized with suspension within 12 hours.

Reports said that the IRB personnel posted at Ukhrul are yet to be pulled out due to security reasons.

Meanwhile, the Tangkhul Co-Ordination Committee (TAC) has submitted a memorandum in this connection to the Prime Minister of India through the DC Ukhrul.

The memorandum said that the prevailing situation at Ukhrul and the rest of Naga hills districts are direct offshoot of the Government of Manipur's decision to go ahead with the Autonomous District Council election, against much opposition from the tribals of the state.

The United Naga Council (UNC) on May 14 called for resignation of all Naga candidates in the fray and economic blockade has been enforced by the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) on National Highway 39 demanding re-enactment of theAct in present form and contents.

This development was preceded by Muivah's proposedvisit to his homeland in Somdal village, Ukhrul District with the Government ofIndia's endorsement.

The Manipur CM, Ibobi sent thousands of 'battle-hardened' Manipur armed forces to Mao Gate and Ukhrul district and unleashed a 'war-like' situation, creating fear psychosis in order to suppress the Naga peoples' demand to allow its leader, Th.Muivah from embarking his journey of Peace to his native village.

Having recognized the ongoing movement of the Naga Civil Society as Democratic and genuine the District Administration admits that the oppressive nature of the State Government to contain the movement is unwarranted.

Hence a memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between representative of the Tangkhul Coordination Committee (TCC) and the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police Ukhrul on June 3, arising out of the assault of civilians by the IRB personnel at around 07:30pm at Phungreitang Ukhrul and the aftermaths of June 2 that tender sincere apology for the indiscriminate firing and IRB and commandos posted in Ukhrul will be withdrawn immediately within 12 hours.

The memorandum of understanding also said that necessary financial help will be extended to the injured and the culprit security personnel will be identified and necessary disciplinary action (suspension) will be taken within 12 hours.

Meanwhile, the TAC said that having assured of implementing the MoU by the district administration and no civil organisation and no individuals will be victimized.

The Tangkhul Coordination Committee (TCC) on behalf of the people of Ukhrul district agreed to hand over the seized service weapons 15 SLR and 1 carbine of the State Armed personnel by the women torch bearer to the Deputy Commissioner while stating we don't believe in arms to seek justice, (the 17 Manipur Rifles jawans from whom the weapon were seized were also released unharmed earlier) but to give it back to the chief minister of Manipur O.Ibobi Singh to use in elsewhere in the Imphal valley and not in the Naga hills of Manipur for there is peace here and peace will prevail in the Naga country.

"This handing over ceremony is dedicated to the hundreds of men, women and children who were brutalized by State IRB and Commando on May 6 at Mao Gate and to the two 'national martyrs' Chakho and Loshou who had inspired us not to cow down to brute forces but to stand united in our movement towards our rightful place.

"Our salute goes to the thousands of torch bearers who braved the rain of bullets of State security forces demanding justice on the intervening night of June 2 and 3 at Gandhi Chowk Ukhrul and to the injured we wish you all a speedy recovery," the TAC memorandum to the Prime Minister said.

Meanwhile, the United Naga Council (UNC) and the Naga Youth Front (NYF) have condemned the incident in which the state security force personnel opened fire.

In a press release, the UNC stated that the violence prone IRB/Commandos of Manipur accosted Naga civilian on the streets of Ukhrul and started raining blows, kicks and rifles butts on the excuse that curfew had been clamped in Ukhrul town, while there was no such notification from the district administration.

The IRB/Commandos were heavily drunk and were out for action on innocent civilians, the UNC said.