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Manipur pays befitting tribute to Khongjom War martyrs

CM reassures no compromise on State`™s territorial integrity

IMPHAL, April 23: Manipur today saluted and paid befitting tributes to its martyrs who had laid down their lives to safeguard the freedom of the land during the 1981 Anglo-Manipur war also known as the Khongjom War.

The State government today organised the main observation at Khongjom War Memorial Complex at Kheba Ching in Thoubal district.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh offering tarpan at Khongjom River.

Speaking at the function, Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh reassured the people that there compromise to the territorial integrity of Manipur will be allowed.

Applauding the patriotism and sacrifices of the martyrs, the Chief Minister said Manipuris had never backed down in their bid to safeguard the freedom of the land. Even in the face of a looming defeat, they fought and sacrificed their lives, he observed.

The spirit of love for the motherland which the brave forefathers had demonstrated runs in the veins of the Manipuri people and we will face any threat challenging the territorial integrity of the land, he continued.

In his appeal to the people, the Chief Minister said there are several organisations in the State, working for the land, and they may have their own interest and goal.

There is always room for discussion whenever any issue which could be a threat to the collective interest or integrity of the land crops up, he said.

However, people are fed up of violence like triggering bombs at public places and killing civilians, and have remained silent only due to fear, the Chief Minister said.

Speaking on issues regarding development, Ibobi said the DPR for the extension of the Jiribam- Tupul- Imphal rail line upto Myanmar has already been submitted to the Railway ministry.

The rail line will reach Tupul by 2017 and by 2020 it will reach Imphal, he said continuing further that the project is one of the fastest developing projects among 34 national projects of India.

The State government has also been providing full co-operation to the project, however, work has been stalled after five vehicles of a company involved in the project were burnt down by miscreants recently, he said.

He further questioned the interest of the group involved in such anti-social incidents.

Appealing to all concerned against carrying out such actions, the Chief Minister said once the rail line reaches Myanmar it will connect Manipur to other South East Asian countries including Japan and help in bringing much development to the State.

Reacting to reports and claims that under the present government no Central or State projects are completed in a time-bound manner, the Chief Minister said Manipur witnesses frequent bandhs and blockades.

A three-month long economic blockade has never been witnessed in any other State of the country and such bandhs and blockades have only acted as hindrances to developmental works, he continued.

Chief Minister Okram ibobi Singh also said that instead of blaming one another, there is a need for all to come together and pledge unity.

A high-level meeting will be convened at the combined head quarter in connection to the present issue of Myanmar army encroaching into Choro Khunou in Ukhrul district.

We don`™t want to fight with our neighbours, we want peaceful co-existence, he said.

The issue will be minutely investigated and apprise both the Union Home Minister and Defense Minister to find a permanent solution to the border row, he said.

Addressing the function, deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam said Khongjam War has demonstrated that freedom is our birthright.

It would not be right to forget the sacrifices of the forefathers and we should follow in their footsteps.

The Khongjom war was not fought by Meiteis only but by people from all communities, he said adding that even today there is a need for all communities of the State to stand united on any issue.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also led the gathering in offering tarpan to the martyrs at the memorial site.

A team of Manipur Rifles also gave a gun salute in honour of the martyrs.

The Manipur People`s Party also observed the day at its office.



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