Fresh tensions grips Manipur’s Churachandpur; ILTF calls off shutdown

Fresh tensions erupted in Manipur’s Churachandpur town on Friday evening even as the total shutdown by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) of Manipur was called off.

There were reports of tear gas shells and firing by the police to bring the situation under control.

The state government imposed section 144 Crpc after an open gym which was meant to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Biren Singh on April 28 was set on fire on Wednesday night.

ILTF calls off shutdown: Manipur’s Churachandpur

The decision to call for a total shutdown was taken in response to the government’s failure to address the grievances and apprehensions of the indigenous people in the region. In fact tension has been brewing since the push by the Biren government in Manipur to carry out survey of Reserved Forests/ Protected Forests’ Wetlands/ Wildlife in and around Churachandpur resulting in eviction of locals. Besides this, the recent demolition of churches in Imphal, has also led to much anger among tribal communities in the hill districts of Manipur. The ITLF had also expressed their disappointment and pain at the government’s action.

Meanwhile, talks were held between civil society organizations leaders representing Kuki Students’ Organization Churachandpur and the Zomi Students’ Federation and the IGP Range – III, IK Muivah at Mini Secretariat Complex in Tuibong, this afternoon. The IG police is said agreed to release all the detainees including the seven members of Hmar Students Association unconditionally. In return the CSOs leaders reportedly agreed to suspend the agitation with immediate effect.

The ILTF has called off its total shutdown terming it a success. A press communique issued by the ILTF termed the shutdown as having achieved its aim. The ILTF thanked everyone for their support and said in the future it anticipates similar
unflinching support.”

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