19 Jun 2017 - 12:36am | AT News Imphal
The 16th Great June Uprising, Unity Day was observed here on Sunday where thousands of people offered floral tributes to the 18 “martyrs” who laid down their lives to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur on this day, June 18, 2001.
The uprising came after the extension of ceasefire agreement signed between the Government of India and NSCN (IM) to Manipur, resulting in the death of 18 protesters and widespread arson.
The people were agitating against the 'without territorial limit' clause that was incorporated in the Bangkok Declaration signed between the Government of India and NSCN (IM).
The June 18 episode is observed every year by 7the United Committee Manipur (UCM) and All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) to commemorate the “martyrs.”
People from all walks of life including leaders from different ethnic communities in mourning dresses thronged the Kekrupat Memorial here to offer their tributes to the “martyrs” since early morning. Several ministers and MLAs also paid floral tributes at the memorial.
A public meeting and a voluntary blood donation camp were held at the venue to mark the annual event.
Delivering a speech on the occasion, UCM president Elangbam Johnson said the supreme sacrifices of the 18 people must not be forgotten.
He stated that although it has been 16 years since the movement took place, the territorial integrity of the state is still at stake. Johnson called for the unity of all communities which have the primary responsibilities for safeguarding the state’s territorial integrity at this juncture.
The UCM leader urged upon the people to reaffirm steadfast resolve to stand strong to protect the territorial integrity of Manipur.
All Manipur Clubs’ Organisation (AMUCO) and Chairman of Observation Committee, P Deban Sharma asserted that the threat on the territorial integrity of the state cannot be ruled out as the details of the framework agreement are yet to made public.
He reiterated that the commemoration of June 18 organised by the UCM and AMUCO is not against any community. Deban said the day is marked in honour of the 18 persons martyred in protecting the territorial integrity of the state.
During the June 18 Uprising thousands of protesters set fire to the Manipur Legislative Assembly building, offices of political parties and several quarters of ministers and MLAs at Imphal. The 18 persons were killed in police firing during the violence erupted in the state capital.