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Naga passengers harassed
Pamreiso Shimray Dimapur, May 10 (NPN):
Published on 11 May. 2010 12:57 AM IST
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Several Nagas, mostly students, travelling to Ukhrul and Tamenglong were Monday stopped and harassed at various locations in the valley reportedly by Meitei youths and forced to return to Imphal.
The incident happened when hundreds of Nagas travelling in taxis and private vehicles were stopped between Lamlai and Pundongbam at Imphal-Ukhrul road and at Keithelmanbi, 10 kms from Imphal, on the way to Tamenglong.
“We were stopped, frisked, abused and forced to return to Imphal,” a harassed student, Yangmi, told this correspondent.
He said he was travelling with three others in a car and were on their way to Ukhrul.
Over 50 Meitei youths including women gathered at the roadside between Lamlai and Pungdongbam and halted every passing vehicles enroute to Ukhrul. “We were forced out of vehicles and paraded for questioning, and forced us to return to Imphal,” said an aggrieved passenger, who went back to his residence at Nagaram, Imphal.
The incident at Imphal-Ukhrul road occurred at about 12kms from the state capital under Lamlai police station, Imphal East.
In another incident the Naga passengers, who were on their way to Tamenglong in various taxis, were stopped at Keithelmanbi, a Meitei village under Imphal West, by local youths.
Taking law into their own hands, the local youths seized their belongings, particularly rice and other essentials, and set them on fire before allowing the passengers to proceed.
There are also reports that women groups from Kakching siezed 50 bags of rice, when some Nagas were trying to transport it to Chandel.
Sources from Zeliangrong Interim Body’s information centre, the entire incidents have been conveyed in a meeting convened by the United Committee of Manipur today. The meeting was attended by representatives of various communities living in Imphal valley.
Expressing displeasure over the incidents, the Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) has appealed the people for “restraints and condemn the unnecessary harassment” meted out to the innocent students and civilians. “This is an act of miscreants and could fuel communal tension. The civil societies in the valley should check such actions which is totally uncalled for,” asserted TKS president Wungnaoshang.
Till filing of this report, the Lamlai and Imphal West police station said no compliant has been lodged against the matter.
News report refuted


IMPHAL, May 10: Reacting to a news report that appeared in this paper on May 10, “Nagas in Imphal fleeing to hills”, Naga residents of Imphal Monday termed it as “untrue” and “baseless one”.
Nagas residing in Imphal areas clarified that there was no exodus nor apprehensions among Nagas.They asserted that Nagas in Imphal were neither threatened by any community nor asked to leave.
They said few Nagas residing at rented houses, had left for their home town due to non-availability of essential commodities and other personal reasons.
Jemson Shimaray of New Chekon, of Ukhrul district told to this correspondent over phone, the Nagas in Imphal continue to remain and have not left as reported. He said he came across the news report from the website only, since the newspaper was unavailable in Imphal because of the crisis.
He also invited the correspondent to visit his place where many Tangkhuls were still residing.
Expressing anguish over the news report, at a time when tension ran high in the valley and hill areas, Naga resident said movement of tribals from Imphal to their villages and back was a normal practice.
Another resident of Tangkhul Avenue, Imphal criticized the report and claimed it had caused fear among his family and neighbours.
Ganglouna, a police sub-inspector of Manipur police from Tamenglong district said that there were no reports of hill people leaving Imphal en-masse. Only a few living in rented houses were reported to have left Imphal, he added.

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