New Delhi, December 23: Ever since the government of Manipur announced the creation of 7 news districts which were created out of the states’ existing 9 districts on 9th December, violence has deepened in the capital, Imphal.
Manipur’s 9 districts were divided into 4 valley districts and 5 hill districts. The total number of districts in the state has now gone up to 16 after dividing the 9 existing ones.
Alleging that the new districts would encroach the ancestral land of the Nagas, the UNC(united Naga Council) strongly opposed the creation of Sadar Hills and Chiribam districts. However, the government denied the charge.The UNC on November 1, imposed an economic blockade on two national Highways, -NH-2(Imphal-Dimapur) and an NH 37 (Imphal to Jiribam). According to the UNC, Naga villages have been “appropriated” and merged with non-Naga areas to divide the Naga people.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi said that the formation of new districts was a response to longstanding demands of local people, and to run the administration better. However, the division of districts byIbobi has created a turmoil in the hearts of the people of Nagas in Manipur as the Tribal Hill Area Committees were not consulted before the government took the decision. Considering the parliamentary law, unless the hill people are informed, the government cannot come to a conclusion concerning the tribal. Under the Article 371(C) of the Indian constitution, the Hill Area committees are formed to protect the rights of hill people.
More than 40 vehicles were torched, luggage of 300+ passengers were looted and burned by the angry Meitei mobs. The protestors also snatched luggage, phones, money, burned their belongings and assaulted the passengers on December 18.The protesters were pouring out their anger to innocent passengers with the ongoing economic blockade imposed by UNC and several Naga tribes in the state.
The Manipur Baptist church which is situated in the heart of Imphal was vandalized by the angry mobs. Outside the church gate, it was written: “CHINGMEIRONG MAYAMGI AYABA YAODANA CHURCH KABA YAROI” (No one should attend the church service without permission). Mobile internet services have been suspended to prevent rumor, buses were burned and overturned.
List of newly created Districts in Manipur: Tengnoupal, Kamjong, Pherzawl,Kangpokpi,kakching,N oney and Jiribam.
Over the past few days, government officials have been in talks with tribal groups. Both Meiteis and tribals have reached out to each other but the situation is likely to ease.As the Manipur election is around the corner, the government of Manipur to retain power, must take broad responsibility to solve the crisis before the situation deteriorates further.
The Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh Slammed CM Ibobi for failing to discharge its ‘constitutional’ duties. He further questioned the CM why he did not take Naga groups into confidence while forming new districts and assured him of all possible support from the center. Rajnath Singh in his letter to CM Ibobi mentioned that there had been extremely and the distressing situation caused by the continuous blockade of National Highway-2.
A mass protest organized by NSUD (Naga Student Union Delhi) and all the Naga civil Societies will be held at Delhi on Jantar Mantar on 29th, December. The Naga Student Union has requested all the Nagas in Delhi to join the protest.