Imphal, Aug 29, 2023, IANS
Imphal, Aug 29 (IANS) The much-anticipated single-day session of the Manipur Assembly was adjourned sine die by Speaker Thokchom Satyabrata Singh within an hour after the proceedings began as Congress MLAs created a ruckus in the House demanding extension of the session for at least five days.
The Congress MLAs led by their legislative party leader and former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh told the House that one day was not enough to discuss the unprecedented ethnic violence the state is witnessing since May 3.
Soon after the obituary reference, Congress MLAs started raising “democracy being murdered in the state, stop mockery, let's save democracy” slogans and demanded that the House must assemble for five days, and not for a single day.
Despite the Speaker's request, the Congress MLAs continued to press their demands even as the House was adjourned for 30 minutes.
After the House reassembled, agitated opposition legislators continued with their demand. Amid the pandemonium, the Speaker told the House that it was not possible to continue the session amid the ruckus as he adjourned the House sine die.
As per their previous announcement, all the 10 Kuki-Zo tribal MLAs, including seven BJP legislators, were absent from the House. The 10 MLAs along with other tribal organisations have been demanding separate administrations for the tribals.
Soon after the House assembled, two minutes' silence was observed for those killed in the ethnic violence between non-tribal Meiteis and tribal Kukis for the past 120 days.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh, in his address, said: “With great sorrow and heavy heart, this House condoles the tragic loss of many lives in the recent violence in the state of Manipur. Words seem insufficient to express the depth of the pain and grief that has befallen families, communities, and the entire state.
“The House unanimously resolves to work for the oneness and harmony of all the people of Manipur, irrespective of caste, community, region, religion or language. The House also resolves that as peace is the priority of the state, this House will strive to resolve all the differences among the people till complete peace returns to the entire state, through dialogue and constitutional means."
In a resolution, the Assembly lauded the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on Moon and congratulated scientist N. Raghu Singh, who is from Manipur and was part of the ISRO team that led the mission.
After the continuous demand from various quarters, including the main opposition Congress, Tuesday's Assembly session was held at a time when the state has been devastated by ethnic riots.
The previous Assembly session was held in March and according to the norms, a session must be held every six months.
The Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) and the Indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) had earlier demanded deferment of the session claiming that the present situation is not conducive for 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs to attend it.
Former three-term Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had said that the session is an eyewash and not in public interest.
The Assembly session was significant, as over 170 people have been killed and more than 700 have been injured since the ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Due to the ethnic strife, approximately 70,000 men, women and children belonging to different communities have been displaced and are now sheltered in 350 camps set up in schools, government buildings and auditoriums in Manipur, while thousands of people have sought refuge in the neighbouring states, including Mizoram.
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