Senapati, 26th Dec. 2012: The announcement of 72 hours total bandh in Naga areas with effect from midnight of 26th December, 2012 and the ban on Manipuri video and music CDs/cassettes, dramas and leelas in Naga areas with immediate effect and the compelling reasons and situation for such a decision detailed in the Public statement of the United Naga Council dated 24th December, 2012 was partially blacked out by most of the valley based dailies. The All Naga Students’ Association Manipur is therefore constrained to reiterate the following points for consumption of the general public for proper understanding of the issue at hand.:-
1. Naga people’s position on the reported manhandling incident at Chandel is that the law of the land must act upon the guilty. For whatever provocations that Livingstone, an individual had manhandled a woman whether it be a Meitei or tribal, an actress or an ordinary person is not acceptable and is condemned. But we also condemn the communal agenda of heaping upon the entire Naga people and tribals the aberration of one man.
2. Heinous crimes of Mass rape of tribal women at Parbung, Churachandpur by the UNLF, rape of a tribal Chilli Vendor at Keinou, Tiddim line by Meitei Commandos/IRBs, the attempted rape and murder of a schoolgirl in New Takaimai, Senapati and many more perpetrated by members of the dominant community were not allowed to become communal and managed as localized issues.
3. For 48 hours the alleged 18th December 2012 manhandling incident was not reported. The protest bandh with effect from the midnight of 21st December, 2012 was announced only in the late evening the same day to target the Christians and tribals. It was not a spontaneous protest but a premeditated communal campaign.
4. Naga organisations & other Christians organizations have requested for lifting the bandh
5. The communal Government of Manipur refused to restore law and order and allows the mobs of the communal forces in the Imphal valley to heap insult & humiliation; destruct personal belongings, commodities and vehicles and physically assault the Nagas unabated in the capital of Manipur.
6. The indefinite bandh called by the MMF & AMSLC lifted upto 26th midnight from 23rd midnight turned out to be a gimmick to further torture the Nagas and tribals who were proceeding to villages with relief for celebration of Christmas on the 24th December, 2012.
7. This communal campaign is a direct attack on the celebration of Christmas and Christianity. Churches and Church goers were not spared. Even a Church was set on fire. The entire season of Christmas and the message of peace which it brings to mankind has been deliberately spoiled by the premeditated communal campaign.
8. From the Chief Minister to political parties to civil society organisations of the Imphal valley there had been persistent utterance of “civil war”, “bloodbath” and “time bomb” in public platforms in the context of inter- community relationships for quite some time. The threat is being acted out now.
9. As there is no government or rule of law, the mob of communal forces in Imphal valley have taken over.
10. The Government of India(GoI) has been asked to intervene vide the memorandum dated 23rd December, 2012 addressed to the Prime Minister of India. But the anarchy in Imphal valley and the targeting of Nagas in particular continues unabated. If GoI thinks that the communal force in Imphal valley is more dangerous than ensuring the protection of life, property and democratic rights of the Nagas and tribals in the state of Manipuri then it is mistaken.
11. If the communal forces in Imphal valley thinks that they can subject the Nagas and tribals under them with such communal actions, they are wrong.
12. Who will pay for the insults, indignity, physical assaults and torture, damage to property to which the Nagas and tribals have been subjected to by the communal forces in Imphal valley?
13. The unbridgeable difference between the Tribals in Manipur and the Meiteis – historically, culturally, socially and in religion has been defined deeper by the communal campaign. The difference continues to grow by the day. Because of these, peaceful parting of way through an alternative arrangement outside the Government of Manipur is the only option.
14. Should the above points of fact and the Naga views be blacked out by the Imphal valley based dailies and continue to give prominence to the views/news of the communal forces, it shall indeed be a confirmation of their communal stance.
Through this public statement we remind the Naga public that it is your demand and your protest. It is the responsibility of every Naga to take ownership of the movement and occupy your respective space at a time like this.
That we are compelled by the communal forces to take this extreme step during this festive season must be understood and participated in the spirit of sacrifice for a common future. THE