UPRFM calls 16-hour general strike on Oct 15 against Manipur’s Merger to India

UPRFM contended that India, under the guise of democracy, annexed Manipur without the consent of the house of democratic and independent Manipur.

(Representational Image-IFP)

Contesting the forceful merger of Manipur to India on October 15, 1949, the United People’s Revolutionary Front of Manipur (UPRFM) has called a 16-hour statewide general strike on October 15 from 1 am to 5 pm.

A release issued by information and publicity secretary of UPRFM L Rolin alias Thoupangba Meitei, contended that India, under the guise of democracy, annexed Manipur without the consent of the house of democratic and independent Manipur.

“The Indian Government coerced the then king to sign the Merger Agreement on September 21, 1949 and the same was effectuated on October 15 of the same year. As such, the day is being regarded as a ‘Black Day’ for Kangleipak (Manipur) as it lost its independent rule,” it said and appealed to the people to observe the Black Day by ceasing all forms of activities during the general strike and to take a pledge to restore the lost freedom by repenting the day.

It said that Manipur, with unique history and identity of more than 2000 years, had flourished as an independent kingdom with its own governance in South East Asia. Various treaties that were signed between independent Manipur and the British since 1762 till the Anglo-Manipur War in 1891 where the Manipur lost its independence to the hands of British has proven the fact, it added.

While recounting that Manipur with its unique history of being a sovereign nation since 33 AD was given back its freedom and independence on August 14, 1947, it stated that Manipur eventually enforced the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 to begin its own democratic government and under provision of the said act, the king was made only the constitutional head.
It further said that democratic election based on adult franchise was held for the first time in independent Manipur from July 11 to July 27, 1948 and elected 53 representatives from both the hills and the valley. “The first session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly was held on October 18, 1948 marking the beginning of an elected national assembly. Manipur became an independent nation with its own democratic constitution and national legislature,” it stated.

The release maintained that the “forceful” step taken by India in annexing Manipur was not ratified by the Manipur Legislative Assembly and the house, in its third session of fourth sitting held on September 28, 1949 rejected the Merger Agreement, which was signed without the consent of the house.

“A gazette order was also issued in this regard on October 14, 1949. However, the next day October 15 India announced Manipur’s merger to India thereby robbing Manipur of its independence,” it contended.

“After India annexed Manipur in the most undemocratic manner, India has been carrying out various policies to completely wipe out the ‘central entity’ of Kangleipak. By imposing draconian laws, there has been rampant violation of human rights through torture, fake encounter and extra-judicial killings and the people are suppressed by instilling fear in their minds,” it charged.

It went on to say that India is strategising to give away lands of Manipur in the border areas to destroy Kangleipak.

“The fascistic ‘one nation, one religion, one language, one constitution’ policy has been imposed upon the people by establishing a Hindu Cultural Hegemony, which is a threat to the identity of Mongoloid race inhabiting in WESEA region,” the release said adding “It’s the price the people pay for living under the Indian rule. UPRFM strongly believe that only independence and freedom from the clutches of India will be able to save the people of Kangleipak.”

The release also said that emergency services, religious events and media will not be covered by the general strike

First Published:Oct. 11, 2020, 11:12 p.m.

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