The remains of eight activists who died protesting against the Anti-Tribal Bill (JACAATB) will be buried after staying in a morgue for 18 months. Protesters in Churachandpur town, Manipur refused to bury the bodies of eight fellow activists who died during the agitation against the previous Ibobi Singh-led Congress government over implementation of an Inner Line Permit that restricts entry of outsiders.
Indian Express reports that protesters have promised to bury the bodies of their eight fellow agitators following the signing of an agreement with the Biren Singh-led BJP state government. N Biren Singh formed a coalition government in Manipur in March this year.
Officials have told Indian Express that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Manipur Chief Secretary O Nabakishore Singh and members of the Joint Action Committee Against the Anti-Tribal Bill (JACAATB), which has been leading the agitation. MoU states that the government has agreed to compensate the families of those who died in the protests on August 31, 2015. The government will also set up a memorial for those killed in the agitation and take the opinion of the tribals before taking any action. The agitators will bury the remains before May 25.
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The remains of the eight protesters have been kept in cold storage acquired by the protesters at the district hospital. Indian Express reports that the state government has announced an exgratia of Rs 5 lakh and permanent employment to the next of kin of the deceased by May 25. It also promised to provide Rs 50,000 to the 48 people injured during the riots. The government will also provide Rs 2 lakh compensation to eight persons who have become disabled during the police retaliation.
India Today reports that protests broke out in Manipur in 2015 over tribal’s concerns over implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) by the then Congress government in the state. Joint Action Committee wants an implementation of the ILP on the lines of the one in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.