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District police alerted as Aimol tribe under threat

Chumthang News Service
CHANDEL: Aimol tribe has been served ultimatum to declare its positive declaration regarding affiliation to Naga tribe by Sunday midnight after one of its villages was terrorised with the killing one and attacking a house with guns and bombs. Based on intelligence input, Manipur police Sunday said that the ultimatum also threatened to eliminate all the Aimol tribe if it defied the diktat.

On Saturday morning, around 20 suspected armed militants shod dead a 45-year-old man of Ngairong village in Chandel district and also attacked the house of another villager by firing several rounds and hurling grenades. Villagers blamed NSCN (I-M) cadres for the killing and attack, allegedly for opposing attempts to co-opt Aimol tribe within Naga family.

According to villagers, NSCN (I-M) and allied outfits have been pressing the Aimol villages, Ngairong, Aimol Khullen, Khodomphai, Chandonpokpi and Unapal to join the Naga fold. Four other Aimol villages had agreed to join the fold.

Panic gripped the villages since the past few days as suspected NSCN (I-M) cadres have been intimidating the villagers on the issue, they said. Amidst the strong condemnations against these terror acts and based on an intelligence input, Chandel police have been alerted after Aimol villages were warned.

According to a highly placed police source, quoting the inputs, the Aimol tribe was threatened with elimination if they defied the diktat. The district police have been asked to verify the information before taking up necessary preventive measures, the source added. United Committee Manipur (UCM) was the first among the civil organisations that condemned the killing of a member of the Aimol tribe, Walunglou of Aimol Ngairong by the suspects and attacking the house of another member.

In a statement, UCM said “it was a very unfortunate incident that the villager was killed for opposing the attempt to assimilate Aimol tribe into the Naga fold”. UCM also said if it was true that Walunglou was killed for the reason, it would presume that the NSCN (I-M) was making another attempt to start communal clash similar to that of the 90s.

UCM said it was ready to face any attempt of forced assimilation on smaller tribes by bigger communities and reiterated that equal respect should be shown to all communities, irrespective of their population size. 

The Committee said it will extend all possible help to every community in their effort to protect their identity and also expressed grief and pain with the bereaved family. A Congress legislator from Thoubal district adjoining Chandel has also strongly condemned the act of alleged forced conversion. Surchandra MLA, said that intimidating a tribe or community to merge with another one was against international law. Political, revolutionary or any other civil organisations should not indulge in such activities, he added.

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