Tue. May 28th, 2024

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Manipur Chief Minister's Event Venue Set On Fire Ahead Of His Visit

A mob vandalised and set on fire the venue of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s programme

Imphal/Guwahati/New Delhi:

A mob vandalised and set on fire the venue of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s programme scheduled tomorrow in the state’s Churachandpur district.

The police said the situation is tense and they have increased security in the district, some 63 km from state capital Imphal.

Mr Biren is scheduled to inaugurate a gym and sports facility at the district.

Visuals of the incident show huge crowds breaking chairs and damaging property inside a hall where Mr Singh is scheduled to visit tomorrow. They also set on fire sports equipment and the grounds where the event will be held.

The authorities have not yet confirmed whether the programme has been cancelled.

The protest was allegedly led by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum, which has been objecting to the BJP government’s survey of reserved and protected forests and similar areas like wetlands.

The forum alleged the state government has demolished churches with “absolutely no consideration and respect for something which is deeply sacred…”

In a statement, the forum said it has been compelled to carry out a non-cooperation campaign with the government and its programmes, and called a bandh in the district on Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

Kuki Students’ Organisation has also come out in support of the forum, alleging “stepmotherly treatment to tribals.” In a statement, the Kuki Students’ Organisation said it condemns “undermining tribal rights including demolition of religious centres and illegally evicting tribal villages”.

The government earlier this month demolished three churches in Manipur, which it said were “illegal constructions”.

A local organisation then approached the Manipur High Court. A bench of acting Chief Justice MV Muralidaran said people were evicted from the churches based on the documents, policy decisions and in line with the Supreme Court’s directions on dealing with illegal constructions.

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