TODAY -

Great battle of Oinam observed; justice sought
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, July 09 2020: The 33rd commemoration of the "Onae Reh Dah" as referred to by the Oinam Hill villagers, meaning 'The great battle of Oinam - the infamous Bluebird Operation' was held at the Senapati District Women Association hall.

The program was organised by the Naga People's Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR), hosted by the Poumai Naga Union (PNU) and co-hosted by the Poumai Naga Students' Union (PNTM) and the Poumai Naga Women's Union (PNNM), Village Authority of Oinam Hill village and Oinam Hill Youth & Students' Organisation, with the words of Rev Dr Wati Aier, "If my people forget you, Oh Oinam, then ...never sing again".

The program was held in the presence of executives from Naga Students' Federation (NSF), United Naga Council (UNC), All Naga Students' Association (ANSAM), Naga Women's Union (NWU), Naga People's Organisation (NPO), Senapati District Women Association (SDWA), social and religious leaders, while adhering to SOPs of COVID-19.A one minute silence was observed by the gathering as a tribute to the martyrs of the operation.

Isaac Thaoveinii, PNTM president, in his welcome speech stated that the horrific treatment meted out to the people of Oinam and neighbouring villages during 'Operation Bluebird' cannot be easily forgotten.

Many people were left homeless, many children left fatherless and many widows left helpless during the infamous operation in 1987 .

The student leader sought to march together and fight until justice is being delivered.

In his keynote address, S P Longsao Lawrence, PNU president stated that "Operation Bluebird" was code name for counter-insurgency operation, launched on July 11, 1987 under the command of Gen PL Kukrety, General Officer in command and supervised by Brig B N Singh, Manipur Sector, after the attack on AR outpost, Oinam Hill village of Senapati district by the NSCN-IM on July 9, 1987, to recover the seized arms and ammunition taken away by the Naga underground group.

Around 30 villages in the district were affected, hundreds of resident houses were allegedly burnt and dismantled, many were allegedly killed and women were allegedly raped and more than 300 persons were allegedly tortured by the Assam Rifles.

Still after 33 years, justice has not been delivered to the victims of Oinam incident, he said and added that the victims and survivors deserve justice and lasting peace.

Since 1988, people of Oinam Hill village observes July 9 as "Day of prayer", abstaining from daily work and gradually adopted the name "Onae Reh Dah (The great battle of Oinam)" .

The president also mentioned that operation bluebird was the most remarkable incident that took place in which the Poumai people were affected to the worst degree.

The commemoration of the day is a reflection of the painful past, a recollection of solid unity, solidarity and sense of oneness amongst the Naga to protect human lives, rights, dignity and security, he continued.

An eye witness during the operation also shared his experiences during the function.

Solidarity messages were brought to the gathering from the Naga People's Movement for Human Rights, Naga Students' Federation, Naga Women's Union, All Naga Students' Association, Manipur, United Naga Council, Naga People's Organisation during the program.


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