It has been around 290 days that 9 Tribal people killed during protests against 3 Bills that the Tribal people feel infringe on their land rights are lying Unburied in Churachandpur District of Manipur. On 7th June, 2016 around thousand people under the banner of Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi marched in protest to Manipur Bhavan against a delegation led by Ibobi Singh, Chief Minister who had come to get assent of the President for the Bills. They were lathicharged in a barbaric manner.
The MTFD has been having peaceful protests in Jantar Mantar everyday since 4th November 2015. They have met the President, Home Minister and different Ministers and exhausted all possible avenues in a peaceful manner.
A dialogue was the least the BJP-led Central Government should have facilitated. The Congress Chief Minister should also have tried to arrive at an amicable mutually agreed solution addressing concerns of the Hill Tribes as well as the Meitei people.
The pictures speak of the brutality of the Delhi Police and Manipur Police. The scenes at the hospitals were heart-rending. About 60 people are detained at Chanakyapuri Police Station. I was not allowed to meet the officials or arrested people, many of whom are injured.
This is no way to deal with a protest. All Democratic minded people and organisations should rise against such brutality. Whether one agrees with demands raised or not is immaterial. Such crackdown on protests augurs dangerous days ahead for all Democratic dissent and has to be spoken out against.