Guwahati:  Hundreds of people on Thursday took to the streets at Ukhrul in Manipur demanding immediate withdrawal of the security forces from nine Tangkhul villages of the state.

Organized by the civil societies of the Tangkhul community, the protestors demanded immediate withdrawal of Assam Rifles camps being set up in their villages and also for removal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.

The security forces have reportedly set up military camps without the consent of the villagers.

According to Tangkhul civil society organizations (CSOs), public spaces such as playgrounds, schools and children’s homes and community halls are being used as camps by Assam Rifles, thereby hindering their usual functioning. 

Assam Rifles of the Indian Armed Forces have recently moved in and captured nine Naga villages of Manipur’s Ukhrul district, said Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), New Delhi in a statement.

The intrusion and occupation of the villages, apparently, has been done without the consent of the Naga Village councils and the Tangkhul Indigenous people, to whom the land belongs, it said.

The FACAM alleged that the Indian state has been mocking its own constitution by constantly violating Article 371 (A) of the constitution, through such intrusions, land grab, and Atrocities of the past and the present and granting them impunity under draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

The FACAM strongly condemned the move of the Indian State to militarily occupy Naga Villages as well as the establishment of the Joint Command Center in Bhadradri Kothagudeming.

It demanded the withdrawal of Assam Rifles from the nine Naga villages of Ukhrul District and the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Last week, alleging the Assam Rifles of forcefully occupying their land and setting up their camps, locals from Khamasom, Mapum, Poi, Tusom CV and Lamlang villages in Ukhrul district while Kangpat Khullen, Chatric, Ramphoi and Kasom Khullen in Kamjong district staged a sit-in-protest in their villages simultaneously.

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