Saturday, June 22, 2024

Manipur apex tribal body asks people not to observe Christmas, New Year with fanfare

Manipur’s apex tribal body, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has issued an advisory ahead of Christmas and New Year, asking the people not to indulge in overtly conspicuous celebrations and other forms of enjoyment.

The tribal body asked the people to stay alert and be prepared for any disturbance, especially during Christmas and New Year.

ITLF’s senior leader and spokesman Ginza Vualzong said : “Due to the prevailing atmosphere in Manipur, where our frontline villages are under constant threat by the Meitei community and our martyrs remain unburied, we request, people not to indulge in overtly conspicuous celebrations and other forms of enjoyment during these hard times. All communities and churches observe muted Christmas and New Year celebrations by observing just the normal church service and not organising feasts and fellowship events (lengkhawm).”

The ITLF requested the tribals to limit outdoor activities by finishing games and sports events like Futsal by 8 p.m., and close shops and outdoor food stalls around the same time.

All citizens should stay alert and be prepared for any disturbance, especially during Christmas and New Year, the ITLF said in a statement.

On Tuesday, security forces recovered improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on National Highway near the vicinity of Bongyang to Sinam village in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district, situated along the Myanmar border.

“Troopers of Assam Rifles discovered a plastic bag containing three coils of wire, each approximately thirty metres in length and conspicuously bright red and alongside these, 21 high-powered IEDs were strategically placed along the route from Imphal to Moreh town on the India-Myanmar border. Swift action was taken as soon as the alert was raised, with a specialised squad of bomb experts from both state and central forces rushing to the scene to ensure the safe removal of the explosives,” a security official said.

A large number of rounds of ammunition were also recovered from different districts in Manipur during the past 24 hours.

The ethnic conflict between non-tribal Meitei and tribal Kuki communities that started on May 3 has so far claimed 182 lives and displaced more than 70,000 people of both communities. Manipur has witnessed repeated arms loots from the armoury of the security forces and the armed groups looted over Rs 20 crore from two bank branches of Punjab National Bank and Axis Bank in Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts, respectively.

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