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The Co-ordination Committee (CorCom) and Alliance for Social Unity Kangleipak (ASUK), two umbrella bodies of major militant outfits operating in Manipur, India have observed for a total shutdown on August 15 to boycott the Independence Day celebrations. Besides them, the shutdown was observed by Meghalaya based Hynniewtrep National Council (HNLC), Manipur based Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL) and Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Assam based Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), People’s Democratic Council of Karbi Longri (PDCK), and National Liberation Front of Twipra (NLFT).
While the CorCom observed for a shutdown from 1 am to 6.30 pm, the ASUK’s shutdown timings were from 6 AM to 5 PM. Essential services like medical, fire services, media, and matters related to faith were exempted from the purview of the shutdown.
In a statement, the CorCom coordinator said, “India’s independence has nothing to do with Manipur. The reason why Manipur could not take part in the global race for development is due to its backwardness in every sector which cannot be undone until it achieves independence like India.”
The CorCom claimed that for over seven decades, Manipur has been existing as a “colony of India” after it was “forcefully annexed” on October 15, 1949. “As such, there are absolutely no grounds for the people of Manipur to celebrate the Independence Day of India,” it said.
In a separate statement, the ASUK said the shutdown is in support of the declared aim of liberating these states or Western South East Asia (WESEA), as they call it, from India for which the entire region has resorted to armed struggle. Earlier, six banned insurgent outfits in the Northeast called for a total shutdown in the region for 11 hours from 6 am till 5 pm on August 15.