The Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has strongly condemned the recent use of force by Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel and security forces against student agitators, who were peacefully rallying in school uniforms on September 27th. The protest, which demanded justice for the murders of two Meitei students, Phijam Hemjit and Linthoingambi Hijam, has sparked outrage and calls for accountability.
In a statement issued on September 28, COCOMI expressed deep concern over the actions of RAF personnel, who employed rubber bullets, tear gas shells, smoke bombs, and even live ammunition against students in uniform. This aggressive response resulted in numerous injuries, with many students in critical conditions. COCOMI views this as a part of a larger policy that aims to marginalize the Meitei community, highlighting a troubling perception that Meiteis are not considered full-fledged citizens of India.
A widely circulated video clip captures an RAF personnel saying, "apna aadmi nahi hai, kuch bhi karo" (they are not our people, do whatever you want) while directing their personnel. COCOMI has demanded both the Central and Manipur state governments take immediate action against the individuals who used derogatory language against the Meitei community. They view the use of excessive force against students in uniform and the brutal treatment of protesters as a cowardly act, inconsistent with the principles of the world's largest democratic nation, India. Such actions are seen as a shameful violation of human rights.
COCOMI has also called upon the people of Manipur to carefully assess the current situation and to recognize the tactics of groups that may seek to divert attention from the real issues in Manipur by creating new controversies.
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