A group of thirteen sports figures from Manipur, including renowned Olympians, have taken a stand by sending a letter to the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, seeking his urgent intervention in resolving the current crisis gripping the state. The letter's signatories, which notably include Olympic medalist Mirabai Chanu, have cautioned that if the situation does not improve promptly, they will be compelled to return their hard-earned awards and medals.
The memorandum submitted by these esteemed athletes, which features acclaimed weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, former captain of the Indian women's football team Bem Bem Devi, and boxer L Sarita Devi, among others, outlined their concerns and demands for immediate action. Central to their appeal is the reopening of the National Highway-2, which has remained blocked for weeks, causing severe price hikes in essential commodities and inconveniencing the common people.
Expressing their commitment to India and their desire to bring further glory to the nation through sports, the athletes emphasize their deep love for the country. However, they stress that if their plea for intervention goes unheeded, they will reluctantly surrender their hard-earned awards as a sign of protest.
In the letter, the athletes also addressed the alarming challenges to Manipur's integrity posed by ongoing disturbances. They condemned the activities of Kuki militant groups that have been challenging the state's peace and stability, leading to the loss of innocent lives and the destruction of homes. The athletes called for the revocation of the Suspension of Operation (SoO) agreement with these groups and a swift restoration of peace and normalcy.
Furthermore, the memorandum highlights the importance of protecting the unity and integrity of Manipur, rejecting any demand for the disintegration of the state. The athletes also brought attention to the concerns of the Meetei community, who are currently restricted to settling in just 10 percent of Manipur's geographical area. They urged authorities to allow Meeteis to settle in the hills of Manipur as well.
In their plea, the sports figures emphasized the need to address the issue of illegal immigrants and to take appropriate action to deport them to their respective countries.
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