Violence in Manipur over ban on rebel Naga leader's visit

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Senapati (Manipur), May 5 (ANI): Unknown armed miscreants in Manipur's Senapati District bordering Nagaland resorted to arson and torched Manipur bound trucks to protest against the ban imposed on the proposed visit of Thuingaleng Muivah, the rebel Naga leader.

The incident occurred late on Tuesday night in the vicinity of Manipur-Nagaland border along the National Highway from Zakhama in Nagaland to Imphal in Manipur via Senapati district.

Apprehending unrest among the ethnic Nagas residing in Senapati and Ukhrul regions, the Manipur Government has banned the entry of Thuingaleng Muivah, the leader of the rebel National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muivah (NSCN-IM) into Manipur, where he has planned to visit his ancestral place Somdal, where he was born.

He had proposed to visit Somdal, located in Ukhrul district, between May 3 and 10.

The miscreants torched five Manipur-bound trucks. Police suspect it to be an act of local Nagas' anger at the government's decision barring Muivah's entry.

Local administration officials confirmed the violence.

"Yes the trucks have been burnt by miscreants. We still don't know, who have done it. I don't know much as I was out of station. As far as I know, five trucks have been burnt. Fortunately, we have not received any news of anybody being injured," said Linda Soro, Sub Divisional Officer (Civil), Zakhama, Nagaland.

Meanwhile, the ethnic Nagas residing in and around Senapati and Ukhrul regions of Manipur vent their anger at the ban on Muivah's visit.

They staged a demonstration at Maram Bazar village here demanding the ban to be withdrawn.

"We are sitting in protest in opposition of the Manipur Government decision taken against the Muivah's visit. We want him to visit his native place. We welcome him, because after 40 years working outside for the Nagas, we want him back. We want him to come and see his brothers, sisters, uncles and all his Naga people," said Kanga Regina, a resident of Maram Bazar village.

"But since these promissory given by the Central Government, Manipur Government is opposing. So we want everybody to reflect on it, we want him back and we welcome him," he added.

According to the truck drivers, whose vehicles were held up and later torched mentioned that a group of unknown armed people came in a vehicle and torched their trucks.

As per latest reports, security forces in Manipur are escorting the stranded inter-state passenger buses and 22 laden trucks coming from Guwahati via Nagaland and entering Manipur at Mao order check post. (ANI)

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