DIBRUGARH, Sept 24 - Several ethnic tribal groups, predominantly of Manipuri origin residing here, comprising Kukis, Chins and Mizos congregated in the Parish Hall of the Catholic Church and conducted prayers for a peaceful solution to the Manipur crisis.
The programme, organised on September 21, mentioned the recent �atrocities� on the people of Manipur, referring to the loss of nine lives and injuries to several others, besides the damage to property worth crores of rupees.
It may be recalled that the present crisis and unrest in the tribal hill districts of Manipur was sparked off after the Manipur State Legislative Assembly, in an emergency session, passed three contentious Bills namely, Protection of Manipur People�s Bill 2015, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill 2015 and Manipur Shop and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bill 2015 on August 31, following the pressing demand for the introduction of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) System, spearheaded by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS).
Protesting against the passage of the Bills, the three main tribal bodies of Manipur � Kuki Students� Organisation, All Naga Students� Association Manipur and All Tribal Students� Union, Manipur � jointly called a 12-hour bandh on September 1 in all the hill districts of that State, which went out of control, resulting in the killing of four persons on the spot and leaving several others critically injured. Some of the injured later died. This subsequently flared up into a movement, resulting in the demand for the repeal of the Bills and a separate administrative set-up for the tribals.
The prayer meeting was led by Dr Lamkholal Doungel, chairman, Kuki Worship Service, Dibrugarh, who appealed to the congregation to look to God for guidance and pray for the peaceful and permanent solution of the crisis. �In this time of crisis and agony, we are with our brethren in Manipur,� he said.
Following formal greetings from Mangcha Haokip, the programme started with an invocation prayer from Donga and singing of hymns led by H Lalhmangaiha. Upa L Nangthiankham conducted the condolence prayer for the departed souls.
Lalawmpuia, the pastor of the local pastorate, Presbyterian Church of India, shared a brief message from the Scriptures and stressed on the need to pray together.
Lamhao Doungel, Additional Superintendent of Police, Tinsukia, Sangboi Doungel, assistant professor, DHSK College, Chullova Pachau, evangelist, were among a host of prominent persons who spoke on the occasion.