Plan for deploying IRB, Cdos in hill areas excoriated
Mass rallies held in hill districts
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 11 2009: Mass rallies were held today in the five hill districts of Manipur to demand withdrawal of the recent Cabinet decision for deployment of Manipur police commandos and India Reserve Battalion (IRBs) in the hill districts.

Anti-Commandos/IRB slogans filled the air of the entire hill districts of the state.

The rallies were organised by All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students Organization (KSO-GHQ), Churachandpur District Students Union (CDSU), Naga Students Union, Chandel (NSUC), Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS), Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) and Zeliangrong Students Union, Manipur (ZSUM).

Mass rallies held at Chandel strongly condemned the BT Road fake encounter and also demanded immediate revocation of the Cabinet decision to deploy IRB and Cdos in hill areas

With a record participation of over 10,000 rallyists in Ukhrul district, the highest turn-out was in Ukhrul.

The mass rally was held under the aegis of the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) and ANSAM.

The rallyists converged at the DC office complex and a memorandum addressed to the Union Home Minister was handed over to the DC.

The memorandum urged the withdrawal of the cabinet decision for deployment of Manipur police commandos and Indian Reserve Battalion (IRBs) in the five hill districts of Manipur.

Our Ccpur correspondent reports: Large numbers of people under the aegis of Churachandpur District Student's Union (CDSU) - apex District level Student's body - took to the street today to protest the SPF cabinet decision to deploy IRB and Police Commandos in the hill areas.

The rally began from Churachandpur Public ground at 10.30 am.

It covered IB Road, Tiddim Road, Peace Ground junction and then finally converged at DC office, wherein a memorandum was submitted to the DC around 12.30 noon.

Rallyists' slogan - 'we don't want IRBs and Police Commandos' - rented the air of Churachandpur Township.

The rally was supported by Zomi Mother Association (ZMA), Kuki Women Union (KWU), Hmar Women Association (HMA), Mizo Women Association (MWA), and Zomi Youth Association (ZYA) and others.

Deputy Commissioner of Churachandpur, Sumant Singh assured the CDSU leaders that he will forward the memorandum to the concerned authority at the earliest.

Our Senapati correspondent adds: In Senapati, around 5000 people took to street against the government's decision to deploy Police Commandos and IRBs in the hill areas.

The rally was jointly organised by All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Senapati District Students' Association (SDSA) and Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR).

The rally kicked off from Senapati ground - with a banner 'Mass Protest Rally against Deployment of IRBs and Commandos in Hill districts/Senapati'-and marched upto the Forest Gate wherein a public meeting was held.

The meeting strongly condemned the BT Road fake encounter incident.

The meeting also recalled the unprovoked firings by IRB personnel in Senapati few weeks back.

The public meeting clearly sketched out the anti-Commandos/IRB sentiment of the people.

Slogans and placards like 'We don't want IRBs and Commandos in hill districts,' 'we want peace not war,' 'we condemn BT Road incident,' 'do not militarise hill areas,' 'deployment of commandos and IRBs is a threat to peace process,' 'no IRB/Commandos in Hill areas/Senapati' and 'we demand removal of IRBs and Commandos from all hill districts/Senapati' were shouted and displayed by the rallyists.

Speakers at the public meeting included president of ANSAM, David Choro, president of SDSA Peter Kuba, deputy speaker of ATSUM Emboi Serto and NPMHR member Joyson.

The rallyists later handed a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Senapati.

In Tamenglong district, over 2000 rallyists took part in the mass rally under the aegis of the Zeliangrong Students' Union Manipur (ZSUM).

The rally started from Tamenglong public ground and a memorandum addressed to the Union Home Minister was handed over to Tamenglong DC, Zacintha Lazarus after the rally converged at the DC Complex.

Rally was also held in Chandel under the aegis of the Naga Students Union, Chandel (NSUC) and Kuki Students' Organisation (Chandel).

Around 3000 people have participated in the rally.

The rally kick started from Chandel Indoor Stadium and later converged at the DC Complex.

A memorandum addressed to the Union Home Minister was handed over to Chandel DC, Devesh Dewal by leaders of NSUC and KSO (C).

Similar rally was also held at Moreh in Chandel district under the aegis of the Kuki Students' Organisation (KSO), Chandel.

Around 2000 people were said to have participated in the rally.

The rallyists have also handed over a memorandum to the Additional DC of Moreh.

Banners and slogans like 'We want bread not IRB & Police Cdos,' 'No Militarization of the hill areas,' 'Remove Cdos from the hills,' 'Reign of Cdos, Reign of Terror,' 'Don't turn Hill areas into a killing field,' 'SPF defined as Secretly Profiteering Front,' 'Government, Hill areas are peaceful don't deploy insecurity forces,' 'Report card of IRB & Cdos: Rape, Murder, torture, fake encounter, looting law and order and insecurity' were displayed and shouted by the rallyists in all the districts.

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