‘Non-Manipuris' advised by rebel organisation to leave State
Two non-Manipuri migrant workers who were eking out a living as scrap dealers were shot dead in a village in Ukhrul district on Thursday. The victims have not been identified as yet and their bodies have been kept in the morgue of the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal for identification and post-mortem.
The killings took place in the background of the Revolutionary People's Front (RPF), proscribed rebel organisation in Manipur, reminding the non-Manipuris who had settled in the State after October 15, 1949 that the deadline for leaving the State had expired as of May 31 this year. The RPF statement said that now that the deadline had expired, it should not be held responsible for any untoward incident concerning the migrant workers, or those who gave shelter to the ‘non-Manipuris.'
It demanded those who had come to the State before October 15, 1949 get registered with the RPF along with supporting documents on or before October 14. Legal action would be taken against any unregistered person.
Charge against Centre
The rebel group said that many agents had been sent to Manipur by the Centre to torpedo the people's freedom movement.
A considerable number of non-Manipuris have been killed throughout the State. However, as no killer had been identified by the police, nor any underground organisation claim responsibility, it is not known who was responsible for the killings.
Talking to The Hindu, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, who also holds the Home office, said the police and State forces had been instructed to give full protection to the non-Manipuris.
Reports said that many declined to fill the questionnaire issued by the police, for they believed it would not guarantee them any protection. Many of them had decided to leave the State shortly before the expiry of the deadline.
A report was circulated in Manipur saying that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) had announced that if the non-Manipuris were driven out, students and other employees from this State living elsewhere would face retaliation.
The CPI (Maoist), however, later issued a clarification denying any such warning.
In the event of an attack, migrant workers are herded by the police to relief camps in Imphal city.
Once the dust settles, the workers leave the camp for earning daily wages. They are forced to buy food from hotels, unable to eat the food supplied in the camp.