File photo of PM Narendra Modi

Rebel groups in Manipur on February 20 announced a total shutdown on February 22 to “boycott” the visit of prime minister Narendra Modi.

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Modi is scheduled to arrive in Imphal on February 22 to campaign for BJP for the ensuing two-phase polls to the state assembly.

While announcing the boycott in an email statement, Coordination Committee (CorCom), a conglomerate of major rebel groups, said that the total shutdown will be effective from 1 am of February 22 till the prime minister leaves the state concluding his visit.

Essential services like medical services, fire service, electricity, water supply, and religious related matters will not be covered by the total shutdown, it said.

The CorCom alleged that the prime minister is visiting the state to strengthen “colonial rule in the region”, while also alleging that Manipur (Kangleipak) has been occupied by India for the last more than 70 years.

“The visit of the prime minister is not to ensure independence for Manipur but to further strengthen India’s occupation of the region,” CorCOM added.

CoCOM then said that in every election conducted under the Constitution of India, almost all the political parties in the manifestos mentioned nothing about the protection of the land and people of the state.

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The rebel group further termed the elections as a tool to divide the people of the state by spewing hatred/venom among the different communities living together.

United People’s Revolutionary Front of Manipur (UPRFM), another armed rebel group, also announced a boycott to the visit of prime minister Narendra Modi to Manipur.  It has also given a total shutdown across the state from 1 am of February 22 till the prime minister leaves the state.

“The frequent visit of the prime minister of India is not to shape the future of the Kangleipak as India has been suppressing and colonizing the state under the mask of democracy,” it said.

It alleged that only during election times, the Indian leaders would try to “tame” the people of the state and they never bothered the series of human rights violations committed by the security forces.

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