All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has appealed to all the “ethnic communities” of the state to refrain from using provocative statements which have the potential to spark off communal conflagration in connection with the “Koubru impasse” and to maintain maximum restraint in words and utterances “for the state is going through a precarious situation that may evolve negative impact on the hard earned peace and peace loving societies” of Manipur. ATSUM in a statement said it is indeed unfortunate on the part of the state government for its inability to bring-forth an amicable solution on the present “Koubru impasse” by maintaining the status quo before it is too late to mend.
The tribal student body then said that the “attempt to paint communal colour by various individuals/organizations and its “appendages with provocative statements is condemnable because in spite of the fact that clarification after clarification were issued by the tribal civil society organisations that no restrictions were imposed on pilgrims but some people simply refused to listen to the voice of sanity”.
According to the ATSUM statement, there are organizations going overboard and for that matter, pandemonium and chaotic situations have had arisen – sowing seeds of hatred amongst various ethnic communities of the state. It further said that the silence of ATSUM over the koubru issue should not be construed as complicit for the “union opines it wrong to jump into the bandwagon sans analysis”. It added, “Objectively, ATSUM wants sanity to prevail and if the mudslinging and impasse are to be rooted out, the best option is to maintain the status quo as it was in ancient times”, the tribal student body also said, adding, “It is true that koubru had been an important pilgrimage site and equally a sacred site for various communities as prayers, religious congregations, fasting and other rituals are done at the summit”. Besides, according to ATSUM, it is also an important site for adventure lovers and revellers. “Hence, the status quo should be maintained by one and all,” it further added.
The tribal student body then said that land is sacred to every community, big or small “and thus the inalienable rights over the land cannot be simply given when coerced by any bigger community”. It also said that the recent “outbreak of lawlessness in the form of arsoning of dwelling houses and firing at Sandang Senba Maring village right on the nose of the so called peace keepers or the law enforcing agency is unfortunate and a mockery to the present government”. The tribal student body then said that the fact-finding committee constituted by the state government to solve the land dispute needs to be expedited.
While appealing for maintaining status quo over the “imbroglio of Koubru”, All Tribal Students’ union Manipur said that it felt pertinent that Central security forces stationed at Sandang Senba Maring village since March 29 to avert confrontation between the two villages over land dispute is not withdrawn until and unless amicable solution is brought about.