TODAY -

Eight bodies of CCpur finally laid to rest, after 632 days
Source: The Sangai Express

CCpur, May 24 2017: The eight tribal youths who were killed in the protest against the three Bills passed by the State Assembly on August 31, 2015, have been laid to rest today at the 'Tribal Martyrs' Memorial Park' sited adjacent to the scenic Khuga Dam, moments after a massive funeral service in their honour was held at the heart of Lamka town.

At least four Cabinet Ministers, including Th Biswajit, V Hangkhanlian, L Dikho, Nemcha Kipgen; Chief Secretary Nabakishore and other officials attended the funeral service held in honour of the tribal martyrs at Lamka public ground and paid floral tributes to them.

The eight remaining bodies of the 'martyrs' were moved out for the first time in 632 days from the district hospital mortuary in eight trucks around 9.30 am.

Students on a human chain greeted them through to the ground where a huge gathering from all walks of life awaited to pay their final tributes.

JAC AATB chief convenor H Mangchinkhup, Works Minister Th Biswajit and tribe leaders who had been with the JAC all through the 632 days movement and student leaders from Mizoram addressed the funeral service that was marked with exhibition of traditional gun salute, presentation by choir groups and recitation of messages from leaders across the country that sympathised with the tribal people's cause and their movement.

Mangchinkhup in his speech recalled how the movement against the 'antitribal' Bills had united the tribals in one voice for the first time but in the same breath noted the gradual division within the people by the words and deeds of others.

As the State Government is well versed with these weak points it continues to create enmity and animosity among the different tribal communities at will through its policy of divide and rule till today, he said.

"The burial of the mortal remains of our Tribal martyrs does not mean the end of our political demand and aspiration.

Rather, this is the extent of what the State Government can do; the next step rest in the hands of the Union Government.

Now, we are about to accomplish our short term goal, and have left the mission of achieving our long term goal with the tribal armed groups.

The achievement of our aspiration and political desire now depends on how unified and united we are the tribal armed groups, the elected representatives of the tribals and the tribal public,' asserted the chief convenor He added, 'for 632 days, we have been mostly driven by our emotions and sometimes by irrational thinking; the time has come for the tribal people to move ahead based on logical and rational thinking rooted in reality.' The man who steered the movement for over 600 days also made a significant remark and declared that he honestly believe that had the various tribe-based organisations and the general public chosen to stand by the JAC for another 5/6 more months with the same zeal and commitment they had about a year ago, the demands highlighted in the JAC's charter of demands would have been achieved.

However it is not too late.

"As we are about to enter a new phase of the movement, we need to relook our approach and make necessary course corrections.

The more important question now is, are we ready for it," he said.

Th Biswajit in his address emphasised on the need for peaceful coexistence and mutual respect for one another.

He said that it is the belief of the BJP led Government not to pit the divergent communities in the State against one another and take advantages at the cost of another.

The Minister personally donated Rs 50,000 for the development of the 'Tribal Martyrs Memorial Park at Mata, Lamka.' Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Jual Oram also sent a condolence message to the JAC AATB as it prepared to bade farewell to the 'martyrs' and pleaded them to continually support the struggle to protect tribal rights and land, over which the deceased youths have lost their lives.

'It is my wish and prayer that all communities in Manipur find an amicable solution to their political problems at the earliest without infringement of tribal rights,' said the message.

ZORO GHQs also condoled the 'martyrs' as their last rites were performed today.

Mizo Students Union (MSU) GHQs and Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) GHQs deputed a representative each to attend today's funeral and they too addressed the public.

Following the funeral service, the motorcade carrying the mortal remains of the 'martyrs' moved to the burial site at around 4.30 pm where all eight of them were laid side-by-side and buried in one grave in the presence of a huge crowd of mourners.


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