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Muted I-Day celebrations in Manipur; Imphal wears deserted look

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
August 15, 2023 17:02 IST
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It was a muted Independence Day celebrations in Manipur on Tuesday because of the dawn-to-dusk general strike called by multiple militant outfits and the loss of lives and property of hundreds of people over the last three months in the ethnic strife.

IMAGE: Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh participates in the 77th Independence Day Celebration at 1st MR Parade Ground Imphal. Photograph: @NBirenSingh/Twitter

Across rural areas of the state and in major parts of capital Imphal, shops and markets remained closed and streets wore an almost deserted look due to the general strike.

Responding to an official order, government employees in both the hill and valley districts reached their respective offices to take part in the flag hoisting ceremonies.

"I reached office around 8.30am and took part in the flag hoisting ceremony. Most of my colleagues were there. The function was followed by a small get-together where we all discussed the current situation," said Robin Laishram, a government employee.

Sunita Devi, who will be retiring later this year, was the first to reach her office to take part in the Independence Day celebrations.

"This is my last year in office. After that, I will go to Delhi and stay with my son. Before the ethnic strife broke out, I thought of arranging an elaborate party for my office colleagues on Independence Day. But I had to skip all my plans as there is hardly anything to celebrate," she told PTI.


While state and district level functions were held in a grand manner with distribution of prizes and certificates, playing of the national anthem and performance by cultural troupes, celebrations at the local level were very limited with most people preferring to remain indoors.

Local businessman Sarat Th said, "There has been heavy losses to life and property over the last three months and therefore there's no mood for celebrations. My brother-in-law, whose house was burnt in Moreh, is in a relief camp in Imphal East district. We have cooked some special items for his family and will be going there to deliver it. That will be our celebration for the day."

For the last two days, the state has been making arrangements for Independence Day celebrations across the state capital. Across the city, national flags were put up along the main roads and important buildings.

Some people also took part in the Centre's Har Ghar Tiranga campaign and put flags on their residences.

Kuki-Zo village volunteers in Churachandpur district also celebrated the 77th Independence Day, officials said, adding the Tricolours were also fluttering along the national highway in Kangpokpi town.

Meanwhile, for the first time in more than two decades, a Hindi film will be screened in the state on Independence Day.

Tribal organisation Hmar Students' Association (HSA) has planned to screen the film at Rengkai (Lamka) in Churachandpur district on Tuesday evening. However, it did not disclose the name of the movie.

The HSA said the last Hindi film that was publicly screened in Manipur was 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' in 1998.

The ban on screening of Hindi films was imposed in September 2000 by rebel outfit Revolutionary Peoples' Front.

In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said for the past few days reports of peace have been coming from Manipur regularly and the Centre and the state government were making every effort to find a solution to the problems there.

"The nation is with the people of Manipur. The country should take forward the peace process which has been set in motion by the people of Manipur for the past few days. Only peace can lead to a solution," the prime minister said.

In his customary Independence Day speech, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said certain misunderstandings, actions of vested interests and foreign plot to destabilise the country led to the loss of precious lives.

He urged all to stop the violence and bring back the rapid progress the state had witnessed earlier.

"Certain misunderstandings, actions of vested interests and foreign plot to de-stabilise the country has led to loss of precious lives and properties and many are living in relief camps," the CM said after hoisting the national flag at the 1st Manipur Rifles parade ground here.

The government is working consistently to bring back normalcy and the affected people will be resettled soon, Singh said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.