President to attend Khongjom Day in Manipur on April 23

Imphal, March 17 (IANS) Confirming that President Pranab Mukherjee will attend Khongjom Day in Manipur on April 23, the union Home Ministry has urged the state government to make the necessary security arrangements, official sources here said.

Khongjom Day is observed in Manipur on April 23 every year to pay tribute to the Manipuris who fell in the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.

This is the first time that the president of India will participate in the Khongjom Day celebrations.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had on March 10 personally gone to New Delhi to extend the invitation to President Pranab Mukherjee to be the chief guest at the Khongjom Day function in Imphal, said the sources.

Rashtrapati Bhavan has sent an acceptance letter informing the chief minister that the president will attend the function, they added.

There are over 50 armed groups in Manipur causing security concern to the union Home Ministry. Most of them declare boycott of the visiting VVIPs and impose ‘bandh’ (general shutdown), thereby reducing state functions to mere official rituals.

Though Mukherjee had visited Manipur while he was a union minister, this will be for the first time that he is coming to this border state as president.

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