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Tribals march to Parl against 'killing' of youths in Manipur

Thursday, December 10, 2015

/ Published by VIRTHLI
New Delhi , December 9, 2015: Scores of protesters today took out a march to the Parliament carrying nine symbolic black coffins to mark the 100th day of their protest against the killing of nine youths in alleged police firing in Manipur.

The protesters, comprising mostly of tribals from the north-eastern state, started from Jantar Mantar here. The protest was spearheaded by Manipur Tribals Forum of Delhi (MTFD) and was attended by students from universities here.

When they reached near the Parliament, they were stopped by the police and some of them were later detained, said a police official.

Nine tribal youths were allegedly killed in a police firing on August 31 in Manipur's Churachandpur district. They were protesting against the passage of three bills by Manipur assembly, which according to them would lead to losing of tribal land.

"The relatives of the dead are protesting against the law and they have refused to bury the deceased for last three months," said Romeo Hmar, convener of MTFD

"We demand that the Central government should take concrete steps to ensure the three bills are entirely withdrawn or to make provision saying the bills won't be applied to the hilly-areas in the state," said Hmar.

"We also demand that a high level enquiry should be initiated on the killing of the nine tribal youths and the convicts should be punished," another protester said.

The issue was already raised in both Houses of the Parliament urging the government to look into the demands of the protesting relatives of nine persons killed in police firing in Manipur three months ago, Hmar said.

Members of Parliament, Biswajit Daimary, Jitendra Chaudhary, Neiphiu Rio and Tarun Vijay also addressed tribals at the protest before they started the march.

"The problem must be resolved in a peaceful manner. There should not be any bulldozing of some bills or something which is against their interest, we have to protect the tribal rights and we have to take care the tribal sensitivities," said Tarun Vijay, BJP MP in Rajya Sabha who was addressing the protesters in Jantar Mantar.

"Today, what's happening in Manipur is against the fundamental rights of the people, the tribal people and against the constitution. So, I on behalf of my party extend our support to your cause," said Jitendra Choudhury, the CPI(M) MP.

~ Press Trust of India
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