Tribals protest plan to deploy troops

IMPHAL: Tribals, who dominate the five hill districts of Manipur, have protested against the government’s plan to deploy the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) troops and police commandos to check militancy.

Tribal student organisations and civil groups, who had only been issuing press releases, organised a protest demonstration on Tuesday. Sit-in protests were also staged in the hill districts. The protesters submitted memoranda to the Collectors.

The leaders said that peace had been prevailing in the districts after the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah), the Naga militant outfit that has considerable following in Naga-dominated areas, and the Kuki tribal outfits signed a ceasefire.

They feared that the IRB troops and the police commandos would indulge in excesses such as staging fake encounters.

However, government circles say that the signatories to the ceasefire had been extorting illegal taxes and resorting to violence, a clear violation of the rules of the ceasefire.