KIM shutdown call affects normal life; Ccpur DC censured

KANGPOKPI,8th Aug: Normal life in parts of Churachandpur district and Kuki dominated areas in Sadar Hills, Kangpokpi district and Moreh under Tengnoupal district was affected on Wednesday due to the shutdown imposed by Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM).

Meanwhile, Kuki Inpi Manipur has demanded the authority concerned to remove DC Churachandpur Shyamlal Poonia for organising cleanliness drives in government offices in complete disregard of its shutdown call. Normal traffic flow and functioning of business establishments, educational institutions and government offices were severely affected. All educational institutions in Kuki dominated areas of Kangpokpi district declared holiday for three days owing to the shutdown call.

As many as four vehicles including one Activa, two Maruti Swift Dzire and one Ford Ikon car were damaged by bandh supporters along National Highway-2 (Imphal-Dimapur) at Gamgiphai. Volunteers were seen blocking the highway at Gamgiphai, Sapormeina and Taphou Kuki village, bordering Kangpokpi with Senapati district. Some were seen burning tyres along the highway. Exempted services like medical, media, etc., were also strictly monitored by bandh supporters along the highway.

Speaking to media persons at Gamgiphai, Kuki Inpi Kangpokpi general secretary Lamminlun Singsit declared that they will support and endorse any movement of KIM. Stating that agitation is inevitable to draw the attention of the Centre and state government to fulfill its demands, he also appealed to both governments to honour the demands in the larger interest of long lasting peaceful co-existence and understanding.

The shutdown called by KIM and supported by KSO Churachandpur and Thadou Kuki Students’ Union opposing the Indo Naga Peace Accord also partially affected normal life in Churachandpur town areas. Bandh supporters were active in certain portions of Tuibuong but not in the main market areas. The bandh had partial effect on normal life in the town areas with exception to some transportation problems between Churcachandpur to Imphal and other parts.

Meanwhile, Kuki Inpi Manipur demanded authority concerned to remove DC Churachandpur from the district at the earliest. A press communiqué issued by its information and publicity department said that KIM is offended and appalled by the irresponsible and arrogant behaviour shown by DC Churachandpur Shyam Lal Poonia on Wednesday during the shutdown.

It also said that the shutdown has been imposed as a mark of protest against the inordinate delay and denial of justice by successive governments at the Centre and the state to more than 900 innocent Kuki civilians who were slaughtered, 360 villages that were destroyed, and more than 1 lakh people who were rendered homeless and displaced in the Kuki Genocide perpetrated by NSCM-IM in the early 1990s.

“Let it be known to all concerned that the Kukis have been denied justice for 25 years now”, it asserted. It also alleged that Shyam Lal Poonia with scant regard of the feeling and sensitivity of Kukis stubbornly decided to go ahead with the social work/cleanliness drive in all government departments of the district on the very day of KIM general strike.

Stating that it is extremely unlikely that Shyam Lal Poonia was in the dark about the KIM shut down, the statement said that the callous attitude displayed by the DC reflected his biasness, exposes his true character and the utter disregard of the victims of Kuki Genocide in particular and Kukis in general.

While demanding the authority concerned to remove him from Churachandpur district at the earliest, KIM said that such an inept and arrogant officer like Shyam Lal Poonia lacks the qualities and the acumen required to administer a district like Churachandpur.

On the other hand, band supporters, while enforcing the 24-hour shutdown call of KIM, prevented Myanmar delegation, who visited Moreh after opening the Indo-Myanmar land route on Wednesday. The state officials planned for a felicitation ceremony of the Myanmar delegation of around 50 members at the Moreh Trade Centre and discuss further improvement of ties between the two countries. The officials, which approached towards the function venue with Assam Rifles and state police force, were blocked at Moreh Ward No 3, Phaicham Veng area.

As the bandh supporters denied passage despite persuasion by security forces, the officials went to Moreh ICP, where they discussed the agenda. After the Myanmar delegation returned, the state officials had to remain at Moreh ICP amid tight security owing to the bandh. Media team from Imphal, who went to cover the event, was also forced to stay at ICP. Later, after communication with Hill Tribal Council Moreh president, the latter apologised for the inconveniences caused by bandh supporters and assured free passage. Despite the instruction by the HTC president, the media team had a tough time in returning to Imphal as they have to cross road blocks created by bandh supporters.

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