Imphal, Jun 19 :The people of Imphal valley on Thursday remembered the 18 civilians who were killed by security forces in 2001 and all roads led to Imphal’s Kekrupat area where their remains were cremated.
On June 18, 2001, when Manipur was under President’s Rule, thousands of people protested against New Delhi’s decision to extend the ceasefire with NSCN(IM) beyond Nagaland. Government buildings were attacked and the Assembly was burnt down by protesters. They also rushed to the gate of the Raj Bhavan and scaled the chief minister’s bungalow gates, forcing security personnel to open fire.
Ever since, the day is observed as “Unity Day” by the people of Imphal valley. Hundreds of people paid their respect by laying floral wreaths at the site. The people of Imphal valley reiterated that in no way would they compromise with the “territorial integrity” of Manipur.
New Delhi has hinted at a possible ‘peace deal’ with the NSCN(IM) by the end of this year, the Naga militant group which is in talks with the Centre since 1997. New Delhi had extended the ceasefire with the NSCN(IM) rebels in Naga inhabited areas covering Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The move is seen as giving an indirect legitimacy to the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a “greater Nagaland”.