Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trauma of Manipur violence victims

IMPHAL - Manipur has been affected by militant violence for a long time and the worst sufferers are the common people.Here is a family that was a victim of militant violence and see how they are coping with the loss of their loved one.The simple and happy life of the family of late Singam Premananda Singh, came to an end after his death.Premananda, the sole bread earner of the family was killed in an explosion engineered by a militant outfit at Pourabi Road in Manipur on 16th December 2007 along with six other people.Almost four years later, the dreadful incident still haunts his family.Premananda has left behind an aged mother, his wife and three children who live in the shadow of poverty.Ibemma, his wife,now weaves clothes and does other menial labour to keep the family afloat.“We are facing untold hardships after his death. I’m old and unable to work. Now, all the responsibility of the family has fallen on my daughter-in-law’s shoulder. No one is there to look after us,” said Thamchet Devi, mother of a victim.The Sstate Government gave Rs one lakh to assist the Singam family and promised to provide assistance in future as well.Still, Ibemma finds it difficult to make both ends meet and provide a future to her children.Sometimes, she finds it difficult juggling different roles, but she sees hope in her children’s eyes and is inspired to soldier on.“It is very difficult to manage and run the family all alone. I have to raise my children, take part in locality’s social services and earn money as well. Even leading a simple life is hard for us,” said Ibemma Devi, wife of a victim.Manipur has more than 30 militant groups and extortion, abductions and bomb attacks happen quite regularly in the state.“They (militants) must think about the consequences of their actions, which normally affect innocent people. People are suffering unnecessarily due to their mindless acts. We are against them,” Devi added.The story doesn’t end with the Singam family; there are several other families that have suffered a similar fate.Here are many families like that of Premananda who have been victims of militants’ activities in the state.People in the state live in fear that the same fate could befall hem at any time. (ANI)

We won't claim anything which belongs to Meiteis: Muivah

NSCN(I-M) leader Thuingaleng Muivah said his visit to Manipur, which has been banned by the state government fearing unrest, is not aimed at disturbing anyone and his outfit would not stake claim to anything that belongs to non-tribal Manipuris."The opposition to my visit by the Meiteis came as a surprise...The visit is for peace, to meet family and friends and not to disturb anyone...We will not claim anything which belongs to the Meiteis, let them have theirs, we will only have what is rightfully ours," the 75-year-old Naga leader told reporters at NSCN(I-M) headquarters in Dimapur late Tuesday night.NSCN-IM, one of the oldest and powerful rebel groups in northeast, is demanding greater Nagaland which it proposed to be formed by merging Naga populated areas of adjoining states with Nagaland, which has been rejected by Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh governments.The rebel outfit, which is now holding fresh talks with the central government since March, had entered into a ceasefire agreement in August 1997.The Naga leader will depart for Ukhrul in Manipur on Wednesday from NSCN-IM headquarters Camp Hebron and stay at his native village Somdal till May 7. He will visit Ukhrul town on May 8 and return to Somdal to celebrate Mother's Day. On May 10, he is scheduled to visit the nearby Senapati district before returning to Dimapur.Muivah will be escorted by members of various Naga civil society organizations en route to his native village Somdal in Ukhrul district where large contingents of police personnel have been deployed and prohibitory orders clamped at Mao gate, the entry point to Manipur from Nagaland.The rebel leader, who is visiting Somdal after 47 years, hailed the Naga civil societies for their support."I must go there and no force can stop me. My parents had died waiting to meet their son," said an emotional Muivah, who recently arrived in Nagaland after holding second round of peace talks with the Centre.

Manipur tense over Muivah trip

The government on Tuesday stepped up security measures to prevent entry of NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah into the state, even as miscreants torched six Manipur-bound trucks.The Naga leader has decided to go ahead with his proposed visit to his village Somdal in Ukhrul district on Wednesday, defying a government ban.Late on Monday, around 15 people set goods-laden trucks on fire at the Manipur-Nagaland border.“It’s a miracle that we managed to escape from there,” said truck driver Heramot.His truck was among 300 that were safely brought back to Imphal on Tuesday morning.The incident took place in between Khuzama and Vishwema villages in Nagaland’s Kohima district, which borders Manipur’s Mao gate.Nagaland police said the trucks were stranded for the past two days since Manipur police were not allowing vehicles to cross over following strict prohibitory orders in bordering Senapati district to prevent Muivah from entering.An indefinite economic blockade imposed last month by the All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) has seen many Manipur-bound carriers stranded in Nagaland, along the National Highway (NH) 39.The ANSAM is demanding amendment of the until the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Third amendment) Act 2008.Muivah is likely to begin his journey from Dimapur with members of Naga civil society organisations as escorts for a safe transit. The organisations, on Monday, sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention into the ongoing impasse over their Muivah’s visit. The groups also issued an ultimatum asking the government to lift the ban on the Naga leader’s entry to the state.Muivah’s proposed visit to Manipur would be the first in four decades.