Manipur women resent 'dress code'

IMPHAL, AUG. 30. The women in Manipur have taken up cudgels against a relatively unknown underground outfit, the KYKL (Kangjamba), which last week had issued a notice ``directing'' the girls and women not to wear saree, salwar and trousers. The restriction applies to Manipuri women and girls only.

The outfit said that any Manipuri girl or woman found wearing the ``banned'' dresses would be shot. There is a fear that the KYKL (Kangjamba) insurgents might carry out their threats to send the message home that they could not be ignored or trifled with. No Manipuri girl or women is venturing out in the ``banned'' dress. After the initial shock, the women had started holding meetings to take stock of the situation.

They were of the view that the ``diktat'' was uncalled for and that the insurgents were ``Talibanising'' Manipur. They urged the outfit to withdraw the restrictions. However, for the time being, there is no response from the insurgents concerned.

Meanwhile, another faction of the KYKL has taken umbrage at the ``diktat'' and tried to give the impression that the KYKL (Kangjamba), obviously its rival, was not a force to reckon with. However, the KYKL (Kangjamba) in another notice said it was seeking the help of other organisations and did not care if the rival group was not pleased.