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As Manipur observes ‘Great June Uprising’ communities vow to protect integrity

The observation began with offering of floral tributes to 18 martyrs who died during the Great June Uprising in 2001 in which 18 people died in firing by security personnel.

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Imphal: Leaders of all communities living in Manipur announced their resolve to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur at any cost and live together harmoniously on Saturday . 

The decision was taken during the 21st observation of the “Great June Uprising, Unity day” here at Kekrupat.

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The observation began with offering of floral tributes to 18 martyrs who died during the Great June Uprising in 2001 in which 18 people died in firing by security personnel. Rituals were performed by people of different faiths. The NDA government in 2001 announced extension of truce with the NSCN(IM) beyond Nagaland which was rejected by people of Manipur.

During the protests people of the state attacked the residences of the Chief Minister, Speaker, ministers, MLAs and political parties and burnt most of it. The government finally decided to call off the decision .

To control the protest security personnel resorted to firing resulting in death of 18 persons. All the 18 martyrs were cremated at Kekrupat where a memorial complex has been constructed.

Since dawn thousands of people converged to offer floral tributes at Kekrupat and police stopped vehicles at various points to control the people and avoid traffic jam. Representatives of over 32 communities settled in Manipur , Assam, Tripura and other states , leaders of various organizations including United Committee Manipur (UCM) , All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO), spoke on the need of protecting the territorial integrity.

Women leaders said the size of Manipur is decreasing due to the fencing works in the border areas along India Myanmar border. The government of India has not responded to the repeated plea to erect fencing along the actual border but the fencing is done as per convenience of the security personnel who were responsible for fencing.

Representatives of various communities said Manipur is a land where people following different faiths and different communities like Meitei, Pangal, Aimol, Anal, Chiru, Chothe, Gangte, Hmar, Kabui, Koireng, Kom, Lamkang, Mao, Maram, Maring, Mizo, Monsang, Moyon, Paite, Purum, Ralte, Tangkhul, Thadou, Vaiphei , Zou live together. They said they will continue to fight any move to disturb the territorial integrity of Manipur . Various speakers drew attention to the loss of Kabaw valley of Manipur to Myanmar after merger with India. Muslims leader said the settlement of Muslim started in Manipur in early 17th century and as only men folk came as warriors they married Manipuri women and hence Pangal ( Manipuri Muslims) were different from other Muslims. In Manipur Muslim women do business openly in the market and play an important role in society as done by other women of Manipur.

The speakers also spoke about the contributions made by various communities in different phases of Manipur including the wars with China, Burma, Anglo Manipur war of 1891 etc.

Family members of the 18 martyrs were also honoured during the function. Students bodies and various civil societies organized mass social service camps, blood donation, free health camps etc as a part of the observation.

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