Sielmat: The Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills and thousands of people yesterday laid to rest the mortal remains of the eight “tribal martyrs” killed in police firings in 2015.
A united tribal solidarity forum was formed soon after the Manipur Assembly passed three “anti-tribal bills” on August 31, 2015, and violent protests rocked the town inhabited by various Zo ethnic tribes.
And after more than 600 days since their bodies were kept at the district hospital morgue, the “martyrs” were given a final burial at Mata Dam site in Churachandpur.
The JACAATB had refused to bury the dead “unless the state government roll back its decision” which was seen as an attempt by the Meiteis to snatch away their land rights. The new BJP government led by Chief Minister Pu Biren Singh last month signed an MoU with the JACAATB for a settlement of the issue – the terms of which have divided the tribals. The Manipur Tribal Forum, based in Delhi, had issued a statement decrying the deal which include the contentious issue of a separate administration.
Altogether, 9 people died during the “anti-tribal bills” protests. However, one of the deceased was laid to rest by a section of supporters and family members earlier.
With this development, it is expected that one chapter on land rights issue will be closed in the interest of peace in Țuițhaphai Valley.