Candlelight march in Kohima to pray for peace in Manipur 

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur so far.
Representational Image: Women form a human chain to protest against the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur (Photo | PTI)
Representational Image: Women form a human chain to protest against the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur (Photo | PTI)

KOHIMA: People from all walks of life came together here on Sunday for a candlelight march to pray for restoration of peace and normalcy in neighbouring Manipur.

The march was convened by Kohima Baptist Pastors' Fellowship at the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC) Convention Centre with people holding placards sending messages of peace and tranquillity, healing and understanding among the two warring communities while also praying for restoration of normalcy in Manipur at the earliest.

More than 100 people have lost their lives in the ethnic violence between Meitei and Kuki communities in Manipur so far.

"There seems to be no one, be it state government or the Centre, taking seriously to bring the wounds to healing," said NBCC general secretary Rev Dr Zelhou Keyho.

He, however, said the gathering is not to find out fault, to blame or to accuse people to ascertain who did it.

"We are here to show our solidarity, to stand up in prayer for our suffering brothers and sisters regardless of the community to which they belong. Our condolences and sympathy go out to families who lost their loved ones..." he said.

The conflict has been going on for too long, he said.

"The root cause of the conflict must be openly addressed with sincerity to find out a solution lest it becomes too late," he said while urging the government to act to cease the violence.

He also appealed that equal protection must be accorded to all communities in Manipur.

Clashes first broke out in Manipur on May 3 after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley.

Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

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