Meet on Merger Agreement denounces Centre’s outlook

KAKCHING, 8th Oct: A public discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement 1949 and Emerging State of Manipuri Community held at Lembakhul village in Senapati district on Tuesday denounced the Centre’s outlook towards the state and its people for the last seven decades.
Lembakhul Youth Club (LYC), All Lembakhul Shinaolong (Meira Paibi) and All Angtha Development Association jointly organised the discussion meet which was attended by LYC general secretary Kingson Chithung, Joint Committee of People’s Welfare Yairipok president Ibotombi Khumancha and social worker MV Abdul Rahim as presidium members. Human Rights Alert (HRA) executive director Babloo Loitongbam and retired associate professor Dr Haobam Indrakumar spoke as resource persons of the discourse.
Both the resource persons described forcing of the King of Manipur to sign the Merger Agreement under duress as an undemocratic act committed on the part of Indian Union while stating that since the incident, the state is living as a part C state despite being granted full-fledged statehood. For over 70 years, the people of the state have been experiencing an insecure feeling for their lives.
Despite claiming to be the biggest democracy in the world, it is still questionable if the people of the state are able to enjoy democracy in true sense. State of basic human rights, security, sufficient food, safe drinking water, modern infrastructure, good road communication and transport facilities are in pitiable condition, the speakers said. They also highlighted lack of initiatives to improve economy, absence of proper healthcare facilities while stating that such outlook from the Centre towards the state and the historical episodes are the root cause of the various movements and social issues that are apparent in the state today.
Regarding AFSPA 1958, the speakers said that several incidents of human rights violation and security excesses have been witnessed under the Act. They also observed that the central India, which is also known as red circle does not have AFSPA despite having more intense insurgency problem than northeast states. Even the North Korea, which is widely criticised for its tough law, does not have Act like AFSPA. They also alleged the Centre of classifying the Indian citizen into two groups, one whose rights and interest should be upheld and the other who can be exploited, and this outlook is evident by the imposition of AFSPA in the northeast states and Jammu & Kashmir.
Expressing concern over discriminatory policies of the Centre, the speakers called for organising more such discussions to bring understanding, unity, integrity and emotional bonding among the different communities settled in the state. They also called for relentless efforts from the indigenous people of the state to take maximum advantage of the new era of trade and connectivity with the South Asian Countries.

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