Olympians, medal winners to return awards if peace not restored in Manipur

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Imphal, May 30 (IANS) Thirteen sports personalities and medal winners in international meets on Tuesday urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to restore peace and harmony in Manipur at the earliest and to take stern action against Kuki militants, warning they will otherwise return their medals and awards.

In a memorandum to the visiting Union Home Minister, the celebrity sportspersons said that the Kuki terrorists have been challenging the integrity of Manipur by killing people and burning down houses despite the deployment of large companies of central security forces.

“Paramilitary forces might have been reluctant to prevent Kuki terrorists from attacking innocent civilians,” claimed the signatories, including Arjuna award winner weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, former Indian women football team captain Oinam Bem Bem Devi, boxer L Sarita Devi, Dhyanchand awardee Anita Chanu, Olympian judoka Likmabam Shushila Devi, Olympic medallist Mirabai Chanu, and Dronacharya awardee (boxing) L. Ibomcha Singh.

They demanded the government revoke the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with the Kuki militant groups, to protect unity and integrity of Manipur, and in rejection of demand to disintegrate Manipur, Meeteis be allowed to settle both in the hilly and valley areas, to deport illegal immigrants to their respective countries, and snsure free movement of foods and essential supplies in the Imphal-Dimapur National Highway.

Leading NGO Kabui Mothers’ Association (KAMA), Manipur, General Secretary Ranjita Golmei in a separate statement said that the unfortunate incident that had started from May 3 had occurred due to a misunderstanding between two communities.

“The situation has intensified to a large extent because of the misunderstandings. We, all the communities, have been living together peacefully and lovingly in Manipur since time immemorial irrespective of we are from Naga, Meitei, Pangal, Kabui or Kuki or other communities.”

Golmei appealed to the Prime Minister and Home Minister to bring back normalcy in the state at the earliest.

“Moreover, blockades in the National Highways have also created a problem for all due to non-availability and price rise of essential items.”

The KAMA appealed to the media to not spread the news as an issue between the Christians and non-Christians. It is a misunderstanding between two communities and this happens sometimes in every part of the world and would like to appeal to the government of India and all the citizens to intervene as soon as possible to bring an amicable solution to bring peace in the state, the organisation added.

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