Anti-CAA solidarity protests in Manipur

Correspondent IMPHAL, Dec 17 | Publish Date: 12/17/2019 11:46:33 AM IST

Demonstrations were held in Manipur on Tuesday to show solidarity to people fighting against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in other parts of the country, particularly in Assam and other NE states.

“No CAA in NE (Northeast) or no NE in India, choose one,” and “Leave CAA or leave NE” were amongst other slogans displayed and chanted during one of the demonstrations staged in Imphal under the aegis of Manipur People Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 (MANPAC).

Hundreds of people, mostly women activists took part in the demonstration staged in Imphal’s Keishampat Junction amid tight security measures by the state government.

The demonstration was staged defying police warnings in the absence of permission from a competent authority. As such, a large number of police and security personnel were detailed at the site to keep a close vigil on the demonstration.

The demonstrators demanded that the entire Northeast must be kept outside the ambit of the CAA, saying, “No CAA in NE to save ourselves”, “Save Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya to save NE”, “Exempt NE from CAA”, etc.

During the protest, demonstrators blocked half the road at Tidim Road making it hard for the police to manage  traffic in the most congested street of the capital city.

Taking part in the demonstration, MANPAC convenor Yumnamcha Dilipkumar strongly charged the state government of attempting to foil peaceful and democratic demonstrations.

“We are demonstrating here in solidarity to the people of our neighbouring states and other states fighting against CAA in a peaceful and democratic way. However, the government attempted to foil it using force. It is nothing but attempt to suppress fundamental right of democratic protest and to gag right to express,” he said.

He reiterated MANPAC’s solidarity to the people of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya and other states where people were raising anti-CAA voices. If the government at the Centre unheeded to demand, then indigenous people of the region will be compelled to demand separation of the region from India, he added.

Manipur has been put under ILP regime to keep the state outside the ambit of the CAA but the Act is being extended in the neighbouring states where the indigenous people have no constitutional protection.

This was nothing but to break the unity of the NE people by habitual divide and rule policy of India, he alleged.

“How can we remain silent when our neighbours are burning,” he said while alleging Manipur government of trying to suppress people’s solidarity to anti-CAA movement in other parts of the region using force.

“We are not disturbing others and staging the demonstration peacefully and democratically only to show solidarity but the state government is trying to suppress the voices of the people,” he said.

This is nothing but government’s act of suppressing the democratic rights of the people. If we have no right to express our feelings then we are living dead people,” he said. Meanwhile, students of more colleges in Imphal came out and staged solidarity demonstrations outside their college campus today. Students of various colleges in Imphal have been staging demonstration, registering strong resentment against alleged brutalities towards anti-CAA protestors in others parts of the country.

Today, students of LMS Law College and Manipur College, both in Imphal staged sit-in-protests against CAA in front of their respective college campuses

The student demanded scrapping of CAA alleging that it was an unconstitutional legislation and it weakened the secular structure of Indian Constitution.

Various placards with slogans to save the indigenous people of Northeast states, scraping of the Act were displayed at the protest site.

The students declared they stand firm against CAA and will extend all possible supports to any movement against the Act in future too.

At the demonstration concluded, students observed two-minute silence as a mark of respect to those who died in the anti-CAA movement.


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