Imphal turns out as one to doff hats to 13 slain youths, thousands salute martyrs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 05 2023: The entire Meitei community today mourned the massacre of 13 unarmed Meitei youth by suspected Kuki militants near Leithao village, Tengnoupal district under police Machi police station on December 4, 2023.As the dead bodies were brought to JNIMS mortuary in the wee hours today by a team of Machi police station, thousands of people including family members came to the mortuary to pay their last respects to the martyrs.

It has been learnt that many of the Laithao Massacre victims belonged to displaced families whose houses had been burnt down by Kuki militants.

The victims have been identified as Maisnam Sanajaoba s/o M Kanhai of Yairipok Kakmayai Leikai, Konjengbam Medhabanta s/ o late K Binochandra of Sagolband Nepra Menjor, Oinam Loken s/o O Shyamkeshor of Sagolband Nepra Menjor, Ningthoujam Tomba s/o N Shyam of Kumbi Salam Konjil Part-2, Mayengbam Roshan Meitei s/o M Thoiba of Wangbal Mayai Leikai, Moirangthem Kingson Meitei s/o M Kingkong Meitei of Khurai Thoidingjam Leikai, Chongtham Lamdeinganba Chingu s/o Ch Manihar Meitei of Sabungkhok Khunou Awang Leikai, Laishram Arun s/o L Ibohal of Sekmaijin Khoidum, Shougaijam Krishnakanta Meitei s/o S Surchand of Kakching Turel Wangma Ningthou Pareng Leikai, Thingom Rocky s/o Th Tomba of Torbung Bazar Mamang Leikai, Chingakham Nethei alias Roshan s/o Ch Surchandra of Andro Torongthel, Phanjoubam Noren alias Leibakngakpa s/o Ph Dharmachandra of Andro Torongthel and Th Malemnganba s/o Manglem of Irengban.

As the Machi police team brought the mortal remains of the massacred victims to Imphal (JNIMS mortuary), people came out in large number and paid rich tributes to the martyrs by lighting up lamps and showering flowers on the mortal remains.

The people also shouted many slogans like, "Hail, Mother Manipur", "Hail, Meitei Leima", "Hail Kangleipak", "Hail martyrs" etc.

On learning about the arrival of the mortal remains, large number of people including family members, representatives of CSOs, local clubs and Meira Paibis converged at JNIMS mortuary.

Wailing over her son's lifeless body, one mother asked, "Has peace really returned in Manipur? Today too, a number of patriotic youngsters are being snatched away from the bosoms of their mothers.

"The Government leaders are oblivious to the pangs of sorrow and suffering because their children are safe and sound while we, the mothers have been enduring extreme pain", she said.

While Meitei people are being killed and massacred on a daily basis, the Government leaders have the audacity to claim that peace is returning in Manipur, the bereaved mother decried.

She went on to ask if there is any semblance of peace in the State.

One of the youngsters massacred yesterday at Laithao belonged to a family who have been taking shelter in the relief camp opened at Khoyathong by TAKDO after their house was burnt down by Kuki militants.

The bereaved family asked, "Does the Government's peace refer to the untold misery and hopelessness we have been going through?" Thingom Rocky of Torbung Bazar Mamang Leikai was another youngster massacred mercilessly by suspected Kuki militants on December 4.His mother is currently fighting blood cancer at JNIMS.

Her condition has deteriorated to a critical level on learning about the demise of her son.

Rocky's younger sister Thingom Rosy who is currently taking refuge in the relief camp opened at Kumbi Leirak Achouba Laishram Leikai ground after their house at Torbung was burnt down by Kuki militants said, "My brother has sacrificed his love for the motherland".

"I beseech upon all Meitei brothers to avenge the killing of my brother.

I too will take part in taking revenge", said the young girl.

"I could not see the disfigured face of my brother in JNIMS mortuary", she cried inconsolably.

Rosy said that her brother and she fought many battles against Kuki terrorists as village defence volunteers.

She said that Rocky was always preoccupied with thoughts of Manipur's wellbeing.

Another bereaved mother said "Blood should be avenged with blood" .

"I call upon all the Meitei youth to avenge blood with blood.

It is most likely that the 13 unarmed Meitei youngsters were overpowered by the armed militants and tortured to the extreme level before they were massacred in cold blood", said the mourning mother.

"Let's stop listening to the Government's peace messages.

While we are shouting for peace, our motherland is sinking into an abyss", she said.

Another bereaved mother weeping over the mortal remains of her son said, "Many courageous sons of the soil have laid down their lives.

All those youngsters are like my own sons.

I would not cry over my son's death but I will cry for our motherland." She then made a fervent appeal to the Government leaders to save Manipur.

Saying that she would not take over the mortal remains of her son, the bereaved mother entrusted the mortal remains to the public.

"I will console myself with the fact that my son has laid down his life for the cause of Manipur", she said.

Another woman said that most of the youth who volunteered to defend Meitei villages from Kuki terrorists and achieve martyrdom belong to poor, underprivileged families but very few youth who belong to well-to-do families and people occupying positions of power have volunteered to fight for the motherland.

Another woman who is taking refuge in a relief camp made a fervent appeal to Chief Minister N Biren not to remain a mute spectator to the merciless massacre.

She also appealed to all sons of the soil to come out and save Manipur.

She asked, "What are we waiting for with a square meal a day?" .

One Meira Paibi leader from Sagolband Nepra Menjor said that they now loathe Chief Minister N Biren's statements given on news channels.

"We feel like switching off TV sets if he (Biren) appears on TV screen", she said.

She said that the Government should be held accountable for the Leithao Massacre.

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