A peaceful protest to save the integrity of Manipur was held on 17th June at Azad Maidan, Mumbai from 3 to 6 pm. The protest was jointly organised bytheWorldMeeteiCouncil(WMC),MaharashtraUnit,Manipuri(Meitei)Association(MMA),NaviMumbai,MumbaiManipuriSolidarityGroup,AssociationofManipuriDiaspora(AMAND),PuneandTheMumbaiPeacefulProtest Group. The groups observed a minute of silence to honour and prayforthepeoplewhohavelosttheirlives.
Forty-five days into the violence, the Prime Minister has been silent and hasnot made any appeal for an agreement or reconciliation. Over 100 peoplehave lost their lives and 60,000 people have been displaced, and takingshelter in rehabilitation centres while reports of heavy firing is still comingin every day. People are living in this war situation with multiple securityforces,mobbuild-upsandclashesin manyareasofManipur.
Around 500 people from different communities and religions from all partsof Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, and Pune came to protest againstviolence and demand restoration of peace in Manipur. With deep concernovertheongoingviolenceinManipurthathastakenmanylivesanddestroyed villages, the Manipuri groups demanded immediate action fromtheCentralandStategovernment.
“NoSeparateAdministration”,“WeWantPeace”,“HelpUsModiji”,“StopHill-Valley Divide”, “Meiteis also need Institutional Protection”, “Meitei LivesMatter”,“StopDeforestation-SaveManipur”,“ManipurisOneandwillremainOne”,“RestorePeaceandBeautyinManipur”weretheslogansoftheprotest. The protest was a call for peace and unity and a rallying cry againstanyforcesthatthreatentheculturalheritageandidentityofthismagnificentland. The voices of the people resonated through the streets of Mumbai,demandingjusticeandprotectionforManipur.
All the seven speakers of the protest demanded peace and action from thegovernment.NabakishoreSinghaYumnam,spokespersonofWMC,LinLaishram,anentertainmentartisteandRobertNaorem,renownedhandloomentrepreneurappealimmediateactiontostopviolence.NareshchandraLaishram,MelodyKshetrimayum,RohanPhilem,andKheersanaYumlemprotestedagainstviolenceandmisguidingpeopleusing
false information, religion, and one-sided stories. Speakers stressed that theviolenceisneitherHindus- Christiannortribal-nontribalfight.
“Why the govt is silent? People are killing each other. Innocent lives arekilled.Homesareburnt.Itisheartbreakingthatthegovtissilentfor45days.Thisisnotacceptable”LinLaishramtold.
“Manipuris being citizens of India, we should not be neglected. We all havethesamerightsasmuchaseveryoneelseinIndia.Govtshouldrestorepeace.The state is under internet shutdown for over a month. Children are livingwithouteducation.Priceoffoodandcommoditieshaveincreased.Peoplearesuffering. My demand is no separate administration, our state should not bebroken”,demandedRobertNaorem.
The Gujarat riot was stopped in three days. Violence in Manipur is going onformorethanfortydays.Arewewaitingforeverybodytobekilled?Whatisthe intention of the Govt? Are we alien? Are we not the citizens of India?Manipur is a small state but has represented India in many internationalsport andart platforms.Please saveourlivesandhomes”,requestedaprotestor.