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Anti-ILP bills; former LS speaker calls for burial of 9 bodies

SHILLONG: Former Lok Sabha Speaker PA Sangma has expressed his willingness to perform the last rites of the nine ‘tribal martyrs’ whose lifeless bodies were still lying at morgue.

The dead bodies of nine people including a teenage boy who were killed during violent agitations against the passing of three bills to address Inner Line Permit issue on August 31, 2015 were still lying at Churachandpur district hospital morgue as unclaimed bodies.

Tagging the bills as anti-tribal, Joint Action Committee (JAC) Churachandpur formed in the aftermath of the of the violent agitations has been pressing Manipur government to withdraw the bills as pre-condition for performing the last rites of the bodies.

“My only plea to you all is that those who have sacrificed their lives should be honoured, they should be respected, and we should perform their last rites with the sanctity that it deserves,” Sangam who addressed at a two-day Khongsai Inpi General Assembly at Zoljam village, Churachandpur on Saturday. Sangma who is also the working president of National People’s Party (NPP) took part in the general assembly held on 16 and 17.  The former Lok Sabha Speaker said that he was coming here to appeal the tribal leaders and civil organizations to bury the bodies. “Let their last rites perform, and then the rest of the things can go on,” he said. He added, “We are all aware of the reasons why all these are happening; how the three bills were passed - bypassing the HAC; you have every right to agitate, you have every right to express your views.”

Sangma said that he knew the agitations of various kinds going on for the rights of the tribal. The matter had been raised in the Parliament too. Everyone was aware of the background -why there is so much of conflict between the hills and valley. Nothing is insolvable. Every problem can be settled through talks, he added.

Asserting that he was among who work for the unity of the tribal of the country, Sangma claimed that he had adopted the NPP in a bid to unite the tribal. 

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