TODAY -

Anti-Repression Day observed across state
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, July 15 2021: Marking the 17th year of the historic nude protest by women activists at northern gate of Kangla against the alleged rape and custodial killing of Thangjam Manorama, Anti-Repression Day was observed widely on Thursday but in subdued manner in view of prevailing COVID-19 pandemic situation.

It may be recalled here that on July 15, 2004, 12 'mothers' of Manipur took the decisive step of disrobing themselves in front of Kangla Fort, the then Assam Rifles headquarters, in protest against the controversial killing of Manorama after arrest by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles on the intervening night of July 10 and 11 July, 2004 from her own house.

Her lifeless corpse was found lying at Ngariyan foothills the next morning.

Speakers of the commemorative event expressed that the defiant act of the Meira Paibi leaders triggered a massive public protest in Manipur against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA).

Months of sustained civil disobedience movement was calmed down only when the then Prime Minister of India Dr Manmohan Singh promised 'to replace AFSPA with a more humane Act'.

The 'disturbed area' status under AFSPA was lifted from seven assembly constituencies of greater Imphal and the historic Kangla Fort was handed over to the people of Manipur after more than a century of military occupation, they said and added that Manipur owes a great deal to the sacrifice of the 12 brave women.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, this year, observance committee of Anti-Repression Day organised smaller meetings at districts by strictly following safety protocols.

The Anti-Repression Day was observed at Ima Kondong Lairembi Haraobung at Moreh, Jiri Ima Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (JIMPAL) conference hall at Jiribam, Thoubal Ima office at Charangpat (Thoubal), Nongpok Leingak conference hall, Wangkhei (Imphal East), NIMPAL office conference hall, Uripok, All Manipur Social Reformation and Development Samaj office at Lamphel and Tammi Ching-mi office at Uripok Yambem Leikai.

The main observance function was organised by Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) at Human Rights Alert conference hall, Kwakeithel, and live-streamed on the Facebook page of HRA.

During the function a short video entitled 'Ema Tara-Nithoi: The Spirit of Defiance' Episode 1: Ema Momon was released.

The 12 episodes depicting the lives of the 12 brave mothers will be released every month till the next anniversary, said a statement of the observance committee.

The Committee also wished steady recovery of Ema Ra-mani and Ema Momon who have contracted COVID-19.The Committee also prayed for the good health and wellbeing of all the brave mothers of Manipur.

With the observance of Anti-Repression Day, the mothers hope that the moral pressure of the historic Kangla protest reaches to all the forces of repression and continues to be an inspiration to all the women fighting for justice and equality.

They still stand firmly on their vision of a healthy Manipur and continue to be deeply concerned at the menace of drugs and narcotics, degenerating every section of our society, the statement said.

Meanwhile, our Moreh correspondent informed that the observance at Moreh was organised by Kha-Nongpok Apunba Nupi Lup Moreh with Lup president Thangjam Ibemhal Leima, Meetei Council Moreh president Mayanglambam Thoiba Singh and AMSU Tengnoupal District Committee president Ningthoujam Tomba Meitei jointly lighting the ceremonial lamp.

Apart from honouring the 12 mothers, the participants observed two minutes silence in memory of three mothers who are no more now.


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