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RNPO expresses concern over violence in Jiribam

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IMPHAL, June 10: The Rongmei Naga People’s Organisation (RNPO) – Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and elsewhere – said it is deeply concerned regarding the flare up of communal tension and ethnic violence between the Kuki-Zo tribal groups and the Meitei community in the Jiribam in Manipur.

In a statement issued on Monday, the RNPO said that in this flare up properties worth crores of rupees have been burnt down and destroyed on both sides. Besides, lives of innocent citizens of both the communities have been affected.

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“The RNPO on behalf of the entire Rongmei community would like to appeal to the leaders including civil society organisations and general public of both the communities to extend the olive branch in order to save the innocent general public and their valuable property (assets)”.

The RNPO also appealed to the armed outfits and militant groups of both the communities to shun violence and engage in dialogue to restore normalcy in the strife torn state at the earliest in the larger public interest.

The RNPO, while sharing the grief and sorrow of the bereaved families at the loss of their near and dear ones, strongly condemned those violent activities perpetrated through mob and armed outfits to the innocent common public on both sides. It also appealed to both the central and state governments to deploy adequate security to protect the lives and properties of the innocent public of both the communities.

It further said that Jiribam is one of the smallest districts with a cosmopolitan demography in the state. Kuki-Zo, Rongmei Naga, Meitei, Meitei Pangal, Bengali, Khasi, etc. communities have been residing together peacefully for the past many years and that the RNPO appealed to all the communities concerned residing in the district to restore and maintain social harmony.

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Further, the RNPO said Jiribam district shares its border with Tamenglong district, whose population consists of Zeme, Liangmai, Rongmei, Inpui (Naga groups) and also some Kuki-Zo pockets and Khasi. It appealed to both the state government and the public to respect the sanctity of the district boundary of the respective district prior to the creation of seven new districts in 2016 by the state government.

The RNPO then reminded the people that Naga people in their consultative meeting held under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC) on May 16 at Senapati resolved they would maintain neutrality, but play the role of peace maker in the ongoing Kuki-Zo Meitei ethnic conflict.

“As the Rongmei Naga group is part and parcel of the big Naga family, we have been maintaining neutrality with regard to the ongoing ethnic conflict between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities,” the RNPO added.

However, the RNPO said the Naga community has been extending humanitarian services to both the Meitei and Kuki-Zo innocent public whenever and wherever they have been in need of their services. Hence, it appealed to both the communities to not harm the Rongmei innocent people and their properties wherever they live within the state or outside. (NNN)

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