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Militant group bans Congress in Manipur
Published on 22 Oct. 2009 11:52 PM IST
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An influential separatist group Thursday asked all ruling Congress party members and leaders to resign within 48 hours or else face capital punishment. “More than 2,000 lives have been lost during the Congress government. So we resolved to ban the Congress party from Manipur and have given them 48 hours to resign from membership. The violators may face capital punishment,” K. Nongthangsana Metei, general secretary of the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), said in an emailed statement. The KCP is an outlawed militant group fighting for an independent homeland for the majority Metei community in Manipur, a state of 2.4 million people, bordering Myanmar. “This is the right time to wipe out the Congress from Manipur,” the rebel statement said. There were no immediate comments from the Congress party. The Congress government is under pressure following massive protests in the past four months with both state and non-state actors causing havoc - militants pulling down hospitals, killing government officials and Hindi-speakers, extorting money from temples. Fake shootouts also continue to rock the region. Residents claim that the state is fast turning into a lawless region with militants dictating terms and the security forces killing innocent civilians in fake shootouts. The civil administration virtually does not exist in many places. Manipur has been in turmoil since July 23 following an alleged fake shootout of 27-year-old Chongkham Sanjit and a pregnant woman in the heart of capital Imphal. The immediate provocation for the string of protests was the publication of a set of photographs that punctured the security forces’ claim that they had killed the youth following a gunfight. The photographs clearly revealed that security forces took the youth, Chongkham Sanjit, inside a pharmacy in Imphal and then his body was brought out. There are some 20 militant groups active in Manipur, their demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy.

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