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Tales of shock and horror through the lens
Published on 24 Jul. 2010 12:13 AM IST
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A five-day photo exhibition on the theme, Preserve Human Rights, organised by the Federation of Indigenous Society (Friends), an Imphal-based NGO, at the Manipur Press Club auditorium here from July 10 to 14, was a different kind of display. Laced with heavy political tones, it drew large crowds.
The more than 100 photographs collected by the organisation for the exhibition were of victims of NSCN (I-M) “ethnic cleansing” against the Kuki community in Manipur and other alleged victims of the outfit, reported Telegraph.
The exhibition also put on display a resolution adopted by the United Naga Council (UNC), an apex body of the Naga community in Manipur, on October 10, 1992. Signed by the then president, R.K. Thekho, and general secretary Francis Ngajokpa of the UNC, the resolution sought to remove all Kuki residents, who came after July 1, 1992, from land claimed by the UNC as Nagaland.
The resolution, that later came to be known as “quit notice”, triggered what Kukis alleged was ethnic cleansing of their community under the behest of the NSCN (I-M). Clashes between the two communities broke out in the early nineties, killing hundreds and uprooting several houses and villages. Both Thekho and Ngajokpa later went on to become ministers.
The photographs showed men, women and children belonging to Kuki community lying dead in pools of blood — bodies of children lying by those of their mothers, headless torsos, the chopped hands of a woman.
The organisers also put up photographs of Th. Kishan, the sub-divisional officer of Kasom Khullen under Ukhrul district, and his subordinates, A. Rajen and Y. Token, who were abducted and killed by NSCN (I-M) cadres last year.
There were also pictures of protesters killed by government forces during the riot in Imphal city in 2001 against the extension of NSCN (I-M) ceasefire to Manipur.
Other interesting exhibits included flags of Manipuri kings since 33 AD, how Manipur came to be a state in the Indian union and the formation of the present day Nagaland.
The exhibition, coming in the midst of the controversy over NSCN (I-M) general secretary Th. Muivah’s attempt to enter Manipur, drew large crowds. The three-day exhibition was extended to five days following public demand.
“Shocking” was what students, researchers, children and visitors from all walks of life had to say after seeing the pictures.

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