‘Manipuri in Kolkata’ stage candlelight vigil in Kolkata

A Kolkata-based organisation named 'Manipur in Kolkata' staged a candlelight vigil in Salt Lake to protest against the violence in Manipur.

'Manipuri in Kolkata' stage candlelight vigil in Kolkata

Photo credit: 'Manipuri in Kolkata' (Facebook)

A group of Manipuris living in West Bengal’s capital Kolkata organised a peace meeting at Salt Lake on Sunday, May 7th, evening. Under the banner of the ‘Manipuri in Kolkata’, an umbrella organisation of the people of the north-eastern state living in the city, around 50 men and women took part in a candlelight vigil outside the Manipur Bhavan in Salt Lake.

The gathering of the ‘Manipuri in Kolkata’ prayed for peace in their home state and communal harmony. The state has been ripped apart by ethnic violence that was sparked after a tribal rally against the inclusion of the state’s predominantly valley-based Meitei community in the scheduled tribe’s (ST) list turned violent.

The participants in the meeting condemned the violence in Manipur, which has so far killed over 54 people. They expressed their anguish over the loss of precious lives, the loss of honour and dignity of their people, and the attacks on people’s houses and places of worship all over Manipur. They regretted the destruction of what they called a social fabric built over thousands of years based on mutual trust, respect and peaceful coexistence among communities.

The ‘Manipuri in Kolkata’ officials also informed that the violence took place over constitutional measures and isn’t communal in nature. They said that despite violence in Manipur between ethnic communities like Kukis and Meiteis, there has been no incidence of antagonism between the people of these communities in Kolkata.

Thousands have been evacuated by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces from Manipur’s conflict zones to safe locations. Several stranded civilians and students from other states have been evacuated too. Chief Minister N Biren Singh has expressed confidence that his government will be able to restore peace soon.

‘Manipuri in Kolkata’ expressed hope that the conflict will be over soon, and peace and normalcy shall return to their home state. “MIK sincerely believe that, these happenings are just a temporary aberration in our glorious history & we would very soon return to normalcy. We are fully committed in finding a way forward & a solution to build a progressive, all inclusive Manipur (sic)”, the ‘Manipuri in Kolkata’ said in a statement.

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