Pro-Muivah visit slogans rend the air Thousands take out torch rally at Ukhrul town
Source: The Sangai Express / Addie Chiphang
Ukhrul, May 19 2010: Over twenty thousand people took part in yesterday’s torch rally held in Ukhrul district headquarters to denounce the decision of the State Government to bar the visit of NSCN (IM) leader Th Muivah to his birth place, Somdal. The rally created some sort of a record as it is one of the biggest such rallies in recent times. As usual, the rally started from two opposite directions of Ukhrul town at 7 pm and finally converged at the Tangkhul Naga Long ground, where a public meeting was held.
The torch rally was organized by the Tangkhul Action Committee (TAC) to denounce and defy the State Government’s decision to ban the entry of the Ato Kilonser of the NSCN/GPRN to his birth place. On the side lines of the meeting at the Tangkhul Naga Long Ground, convenor of the TAC stated that the stand of the Manipur Government to oppose the visit of Th Muivah to his birth place after forty years is condemnable and unfair. The support extended to the decision of the Government of by some sections of the ‘intellectuals’ in Imphal valley goes against the very ethos of peaceful co-existence between the hill and valley people, which these ‘intellectuals’ have been espousing, he added.
It was a cowardly act on the part of the Manipur Government to ban the visit of chief negotiator of the Indo-Naga peace parleys, said the convenor and added this can only add to the tension between the hill and valley people. The decision of the State Government was not at all pragmatic, he asserted.
The torch rally, which started from two points finally converge at TNL ground where a public meeting followed. Co-convener of the TAC, Jonathan Shingkap, formal president Ramthing Hungyo and president of TNL, Solomon Ningshen, addressed the meeting, attended by thousands of people. During the meeting the gathering once again unanimously re-affirmed to give a befitting reception to the Ato Kilonser Th Muivah when he comes visitng his home district after more than forty years.
The public also reiterated that they are fully committed to face any eventuality unitedly to ensure his home coming at any cost. Striking a united stand and firm commitment, the gathering raised slogans to welcome Th Muivah. The gathering also conveyed to the rebel Naga leader that the public have been mobilised to defy all the odds and obstacles put up against his proposed visit by the Government of Manipur and others.
Later, the public burnt the effigies of Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi high and raised slogans such as ‘Ibobi stop hate campaign’. Other than this the public also accused the Chief Minister and his Council of Ministers of acting only for the interest of the valley and not the people of the hill districts.
Prior to the torch rally in the evening, sit-in-protest against the decision of the State Government was also held at many places in Ukhrul town.