Resist the Axis of Corruption and Violence
Protest against the killings of Dr. Th. Kishan, Mr. A. Rajen, Mr. Y. Token and many other innocent civilians in Manipur
New Delhi, 7th March 2009:
Students, teachers and activists in Delhi supported by many organizations today strongly condemned the recent killing of Dr. Thingnam Kishan, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Kasom Khullen in Ukhrul District of Manipur, and two of his staff members, Aribam Rajen and Yumnam Token. In a candle light vigil and gathering observed at Jantar Mantar and India Gate, the participants have collectively resolved to resist the axis of corruption and violence in Manipur. It also called upon the Indian government to impress upon the government of Manipur to punish the perpetrators who are involved in the incidents that led to the brutal killings.
Speaking on the occasion, noted social activist Kamla Bhasin extended her solidarity and gratitude to all you people condemning “the meaningless violence” which continue to take place in Manipur. She said “Peace is stronger than hatred and violence; Light is stronger than darkness; Democracy is stronger than dictatorship.”
The president of the Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD), Oinam Sandhyarani Chanu said that by declaring compensation of 10 lakh rupees, the Government of Manipur has sidelined the real issues. She said “Such killings continue unabated in Manipur with an average of three people being killed daily. The Government of India should take responsibility of the current situation in Manipur which is a direct result of its repression and ethinicised politics.”
Amrapali Basumatary, a teacher at the Univiersity of Delhi said that Dr. Thingnam Kishan’s killing may be a single event but we should not forget that its part of a larger phenomena. She said “We still believe in democratic ideas and when such brutal acts are happening, we need to take up democratic steps to fight for justice by talking instead of engaging in such inhuman brutality”.
John Zamkhomang, representing the past pupils of Don Bosco, Imphal, Chingmeirong said each and every life on this earth is very precious and nobody has the power to give life and so nobody should have the right to take away life. “I want to appeal to everyone here and to those all who could not make it today to let change our attitude and start to focus on how to change or improve the present scenario and this can happen only when we start changing our own attitude.” The Don Bosco Alumni present also strongly condemned the killing of Dr.Thingnam. They have stated, “We cannot stand idly by and witness the crisis that is occurring in Manipur. It’s time we also made a strong stand of principles to stand up and get involve in a fight to resolve the crisis in our Motherland”.
A.C. Kharingpam, Assistant Professor of English at Jamia Millia Islamia said that Dr. Thingnam Kishan was one individual who wanted to bridge the gap between the people from the hills and the valley in Manipur. He urged the people to condemn such heinous crimes.
Professor Anuradha Chenoy of Jawaharlal Nehru University said, "The recent killings in Manipur of Dr Th. Kishan, Token and Rajen in Manipur once again show what the widespread violence can do to many bright young minds in a society. It is a reinforcement of how widespread militarization and the use of violence and force as a negotiating method to settle issues. It is time that the people of Manipur and other peace loving people in India condemn such killings and work towards bringing an end to the ideology of violence"
Binalakshmi Nepram of Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network said, “Everyday, three to four people are killed in Manipur’s ongoing conflict. In the last decades, thousands have died and even more have become widowed or orphaned. Stories of suffering are legion as those who survive look into a scarred future. Someday, this needs to end.”
Dr. Thingnam Kishan and two of his staff members, Aribam Rajen and Yumnam Token along with three officials were kidnapped on the 13th of February 2009 from Ukhrul. In the morning of the 17th, the bodies of Dr. Thingnam and his two staff members were found under the Lukhrabi bridge along the NH-39 in Senapati District, Manipur. The National Socialist Council of Nagalim or the NSCN (IM) has stated that one of its senior cadres “Lt. Col.” H. Ningshen committed the crime. The remaining three officials have been “rescued” by a combined team of the Manipur police and the Assam Rifles.
As a consequence of these murders, Manipur has been under serious political turmoil – familiar scenes of street protests and rallies, and state response through the imposition of curfews and attacks on the protesters. People of Manipur cutting across community and religious lines have condemned this barbaric act and also sought for justice. Large protests by the people have been witnessed in both the valley and the hills of Manipur. The Government of Manipur has instituted a two member committee to investigate the murders apart from declaring a CBI enquiry. The NSCN (IM) has announced that it will give the ‘severest’ form of punishment to its cadre who is under their custody (and others involved in the crime). It has, however, declined to hand over the culprit(s) to the Government of Manipur.
The vigil was organized and supported by students, teachers, colleagues and friends from Jamia Millia Islamia, University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University; Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network (MWGSN), Manipur Students’ Association Delhi; Delhi Association of Manipur Muslim Students (DAMMS), Past Pupils of Don Bosco, Imphal and Rock Music Manipur (RMM).
About Manipur State
Manipur is a state in India’s North East with just over two million inhabitants. It is a state that has been witnessing armed conflict & over 20,000 people have been killed in the last five decades. According to official statistics, in 2007 alone more than 400 people have lost their lives. Not a single day passes in Manipur without armed violence and gun killings. Today, more than 30 armed groups operate in Manipur – ranging from small outfits to organizations with several thousand members. Besides them, dozens of battalions of the Indian army and several units of Indian paramilitary forces are stationed throughout the state at the Indo-Burma border. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act is also clamped on the state since 1980.
For more interviews and further enquiries, please contact: Miss Sandyarani Chanu
President, Manipur Students’ Association, Delhi (MSAD) email@example.com 9911368968 Sd/
Ms Binalakshmi 9891210264 BNepram@yahoo.co.in Manipur Women Gun Survivors Network
Mr Y. Jilangamba 9810397745 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms Soibam Haripriya 9999789337 email@example.com
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This PR was webcasted on March 08, 2009 .
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