Rebel group tells non-locals to quit Manipur

Imphal, March 7 (IANS) Fear and panic has gripped non-locals in India’s restive northeastern state of Manipur after a separatist group issued “quit notices” to all non-Manipuri people, asking them to leave the state by May 31 or face dire consequences.

The Revolutionary Peoples Front (RPF), an outlawed rebel group fighting for an independent state for the majority Metei community in Manipur, set May 31 deadline for non-Manipuris who came to the state after 1949 to leave.

“Hatred among the residents was growing against the non-Manipuris and hence we have asked them to quit Manipur or face action,” RPF spokesperson T. Leisemba said in a statement.

The group also asked locals not to rent out houses and or sell land to non-Manipuris or allow them to head business houses.

There are no estimates about the number of non-Manipuris in the state of 2.4 million people.

A large number of people from other Indian states are working in Manipur as daily wage earners, besides many are doing business and are employed in private companies and educational institutions.

“We are worried after the threat and don’t know how to react,” said Hari Dhan Singh, a petty businessman originally hailing from Bihar.

Militants in Manipur during the past three years killed an estimated 50 Hindi-speaking people in separate attacks.

There was no immediate reaction available from the government.

“There is a sense of all-pervading fear and panic among most of the non-Manipuri people like us,” said Barun Yadav, a dealer in food products settled in Manipur for the past 12 years but originally from Uttar Pradesh.

–Indo-Asian News Service


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