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AZSU Submits Memo To Prime Minister

IMPHAL, Apr 21: All Zeliangrong Students’ Union–Assam, Manipur and Nagaland (AZSU–AMN) has refused to step down from its aggressive position of seeking the removal of 11 Assam Rifles from Zeliangrong areas.

A memorandum to this effect has also been sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his intervention in the matter.

11 Assam Rifles under Colonel Chonkar has been accused of ‘terrorizing’ the people of Tamenglong district.

Significantly, AZSU had called a 48-hour total bandh in Zeliangrong areas of Manipur from midnight April 17 to midnight April 19 to press for the immediate transfer of 11 Assam Rifles from Zeliangrong areas following the alleged highhandedness of Colonel Chonkar of 11 Assam Rifles.

“The 11 Assam Rifles under Colonel Chonkar have been terrorizing the peace loving people of Tamenglong district. He has been leading his sepoys and raiding the houses of Zeliangrong students’ leaders like a wounded animal,” said the memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister today.

The students’ union has alleged that the presence of 11 Assam Rifles under Colonel Chonkar in Zeliangrong areas has hindered human and vehicular movement and sought the removal of security check posts on National Highways, district highways and inter-village roads with the immediate transfer of 11 Assam Rifles.

AZSU–AMN has demanded a five-point charter of demands that include immediate withdrawal of AFSPA, 1953 from the entire North East region, immediate transfer of 11 Assam Rifles from Zeliangrong areas, punitive action against Col. Chonkar, and a hassle-free 24-hour vehicular and human movement on National Highways, district highways, inter-village roads etc.

All Zeliangrong Students’ Union has, through the memorandum sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a second in less than a month, said that despite the success of the 48-hour bandh in Zeliangrong areas the government of India has not responded positively to its demands. “We will not allow any divisive element, whether it is our own people or Indian Security Forces, to disturb the peace process (between GOI and NSCN-IM),” said president of AZSU–AMN Pamei Tingenlung, adding that the Zeliangrong people is committed to strengthen the ongoing peace process.

Let them also act as facilitator of this ongoing peace process, he said, apparently hinting at 11 Assam Rifles.

The Zeliangrong students’ body has also accused 11 Assam Rifles under Colonel Chonkar of using some womenfolk with questionable moral character as informer against the interest of the Zeliangrong community.

The Union Government has also been looked with restraint accusation by the students’ body by asking, “Is there any directive from the Government of India to terrorize the civilians and their leaders in the name of counter insurgency?”

“We doubt the sincerity of the Union Government because it has not reined in a mere Army officer.

Rather we see there is tacit understanding between the Union government and the security forces,” it said.

With “no positive response” forthcoming from the government of India, AZSU has decided to intensify its democratic agitation, with support from other like-minded civil societies, until and unless its charter of demands is met.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express/ Newmai News Network)

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