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Public meeting held against heavy militarisation in villages of Ukhrul

UKHRUL | Jul 30 : Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long called a meeting in short notice at Town Hall, Phungreitang Ukhrul, against the backdrop of heavy deployment of armed personnel at Shingkap, Marou, Lungphu and Hongpei.

The meeting was attended by thousands of people from all walks of life, and president of Tangkhul Shanao Long gave the ground report. A team comprising of Tangkhul frontal organisations have visited Shingkap village on July 28, where a medical camp was organised by the 17 Assam Rifles. On the pretext of medical camp, around 200 personnel have camped at Marou, Shingta and Lungphu villages, while around 120 personnel were deployed at Itham, Bahoram and Chongdan villages and about 100 personnel at Hongpei village since July 27. The presence of such large numbers of Assam Rifles personnel at the area added with frisking of people at Marou, Lungphu Junction, Hongpei and Ramva have created fear psychosis and unrest among the people.

President of TNL, Weapon Zimik strongly condemned the act and intention to sabotage the hard earned peace process and added that it is something the people will not accept. It is very unfortunate to witness the activities of Assam Rifles, he said.

He further appealed the Assam Rifles and state government to honour the Framework Agreement and immediately withdraw the security forces in the area in order to maintain peace and tranquillity. The Tangkhuls will be compelled to take up necessary agitation to uphold the Framework Agreement in case of failure to heed to the demand, he added.

Zimik also advised the gathering to stay alert and united, and to remain steadfast against temptation and various other means to sabotage the peace process.

Vice president of TKS, S. Shimray also condemned the stationing of 17 Assam Rifles personnel at the Marou Primary School. He informed that as hundreds of Assam Rifles personnel are stationed at the school premises, the children are scared of attending schools. He also appealed for immediate withdrawal of the AR personnel from the school campus.

The jam-packed gathering, in unison, agreed to submit a memorandum addressed to the chief minister through the deputy commissioner of Ukhrul. The memorandum stated that the security forces have deliberately failed to create an atmosphere conducive for peaceful co-existence and have failed to understand the position of the peace loving people. It further mentioned that frisking has given a sense of insecurity and created fear psychosis to the commuters, and that it is a sign of insincerity on the party of Assam Rifles. The memorandum also stated that on the pretext of organising a medical camp under the command of CO 17 AR, Rishi Dubey, the area has been heavily militarized. It also appealed the chief minister to immediately withdraw all the security forces from the area in order to restore peace and harmony. The state government shall be held responsible for any untoward incident, concluded the memorandum. The memorandum was jointly signed by Tangkhul Naga Long, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Tangkhul Katamano Long and Tangkhul Mayar Ngala Long.

~IFP

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