Nine bodies lying in morgue since September 2015 to be buried

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Imphal, Feb 9 (IANS) The bodies of nine people, who were killed in violence that hit Manipur in September 2015 after the assembly passed three bills for the protection of indigenous people and which have been lying in a morgue since then, will finally be buried.

A resolution to this effect was taken at a public meeting in Churachandpur on Tuesday where representatives of all important organisations and women’s groups were present.

It was resolved that the nine bodies, which have been lying in a morgue since September, will be buried on February 13.

In the past, the last rites could not be performed as some groups were opposed to the plan.

Churachandpur witnessed widespread violence from September 1, 2015 onwards, when several schools and government offices were torched.

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Violence erupted following the state government’s adoption on August 31, 2015 of three landmark bills — Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (seventh amendment) Bill 2015, and Manipur Shops and Establishment (second amendment) Bill 2015. The bills are pending with the president.

Police opened fire at protesters, and eight people were killed. One youth died in a road accident during the protests.

The protesting groups refused to claim the bodies and these are still in a hospital morgue in the district.

Houses, properties of ministers and legislators were burned down by a frenzied mob. The violence spread to the Sadar hills sub-division in Senapati district.

Last month, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, as well as other ministers and senior officials were not allowed to go to Churachandpur to commission two power sub-stations by agitating women who squatted on the roads.

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The ministers and officials later went by a helicopter.

Meanwhile, Health and Family Welfare Minister Phungzathang Tonsing on Tuesday said only the Paite tribe in the state was opposing the three bills.

Addressing Congress workers during the one-day political conference of the party in Churachandpur, he said: “There is no clause in the bills which are against the tribals. This is mere motivated propaganda. If any anti-tribal clause is pointed out, the government is ready to make amendments.”

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