Condemnations against brutal murder of Athuan Abonmai continue to pour in
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 24 2021: Civil society organisations, student organisations from across the State continue to condemn the brutal killing of former Zeliangrong Baudi president, Athuan Abonmai on September 22.Zeliangrong Civil Society Organisations (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland), ZB State Units, All Zeliangrong Students' Union (AZSU), Zeliangrong Youth Front (ZYF), Zeliangrong Union, Naga Women's Union, Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI), Leihou Khunai Kanba Luptil (LKKL), IPSA issued separate statements condemning the brutal act in the strongest terms.

Zeliangrong Civil Society Organisations (ZB State Units, AZSU, ZYF) in a joint statement spoke strongly against the abduction, torture and subsequent gruesome killing of former president of Zeliangrong Baudi (Assam, Manipur and Nagaland) on September 22 at Pallong village of Tamei sub-division, Tamenglong.

The Dimki session of ZB (AM&N) at Asala village held yesterday expressed its anguish over the cold blooded murder of its former leader without any cognizable reason, the statement said.

The magnitude of the crime is unimaginable as the incident happened amidst heavy security deployment in the wake of the Chief Minister's visit.

Complacency of the Government and its security agency is highly questionable, it said while adding that the loss of a shrewd leader and the humiliation meted on Zeliangrong community is hard to bear.

The Zeliangrong Civil Organisations also expressed suspicion of underground involvement and urged the State Government to book the culprits and take befitting action.

The Zeliangrong Union (AMN), its zones (Imphal, Sadar and Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Nungba, Khoupum, Noney, Barak Valley, Tamenglong and Senapati); Zeliangrong Women Union, Manipur; Kabui Mother Association Manipur (KAMA) and Zeliangrong Football Association also condemned the murder in the strongest term.

One may have a different ideology and opinion and it is a human phenomenon.

Whatever the ideological or political difference it may be, killing is never the solution, said the union while expressing that the demise of Athuan Abonmai is a great loss for the people of Manipur in general and the Zeliangrong people in particular.

He was a dedicated and farsighted leader among the tribal people of Manipur and he stood for the unity of Zeliangrong people inhabited in the three states.

There was peace and solidarity amongst the Zeliangrong people during his short tenure as ZB president, it said.

His dedicated work and welfare service for the Zeliangrong people shall always be remembered in the days to come, it said.

A condolence meeting was held today in honour of the late soul at ZU head office at Imphal in the presence of Azang Rongmei, president of ZU, zonal leaders, Church leaders, intellectuals, well wishers, women leaders, it said.

The union while sharing the pain and sorrow of the bereaved family members also prayed to God for his soul to rest in peace.

In the meantime, Naga Women's Union expressed shock over the news of Athuan Abonmai's demise and strongly denounced the abduction and murder of the former ZB president.

The tragic incident took place in the wake of CM's visit to Tamenglong with much fanfare and within the precinct of tight security and it reveals the security lapses and failure of district administration and the system, the union said.

Killing cannot be justified and is unacceptable, it said while appealing the State Government to take up stringent action to deliver justice at the earliest possible according to the law of the land and no stone should be left unturned to ensure such barbaric crime is not repeated in future.

The union, expressing sympathy and solidarity to the family and relatives of Athuan Abonmai also prayed for his soul to rest in peace.

The United Women Organization Tamenglong (UWOT) expressed serious concern about the 'unprecedented' event that unfolded on the "Go to Hills 2.0" programme jointly organized by the district administration, Tamenglong and Joint Tribe Council on September 22 in Tamenglong district.

A press release issued by UWOT said that Athuan Abonmai was abducted from a place a few meters away from where the Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers along with high-level officials were gracing the program with high security and maximum security personnel.

UWOT then urged all sections of the community to put an end to all forms of violence including murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, torture, outrages upon personal dignity and respect the right to life.

The Tamenglong Concerned People's Forum; Zeliangrong Students' Union, Shillong; Uripok Apunba Lup too condemned 'brutal torture and murder' of Athuan Abonmai.

Student Unions Manipur University Students' Union (MUSU) 2020-21; Joint Students' Co-Ordination Committee (JSCC); Zeliangrongpui (ZLRP) Students' Union, Dhanamanjuri University; Pangal Student's Organisation (PSO) too joined in condemning the abduction and brutal killing of Athuan Abonmai and demanded the State Government to deliver justice to the family at the earliest.

JSCC which is a conglomerate body of four student organisations viz AMSU, MSF, KSA, SUK appealed the State Government to enquire into the matter and punish the culprits to deliver justice to the family of 'Oja Athuan Abonmai' who advocated peace and unity and to reassure that there is governance.

JSCC stated that Athuan had been instrumental in bridging the bond between hills and valley people and his demise is an irreparable loss.

The Government without waiting for people's movement should act fittingly to book the culprits, it said.

It is extremely shameful that the Zeliangrong leader was abducted in broad daylight that too in front of security personnel, the joint body said while adding that putting some police personnel and officials under suspension in the wake of the incident cannot put off the emotions and sentiments of the people.

Prayed for his soul to rest in peace, JSCC called upon all to join hands in their prayer.

ZLRP Students Union Dhanamanjuri also expressed shock over the incident.

His death is an irreparable loss not only for his family members and the ZLR Community but for the people of Manipur, the unions said in a condolence note.

'Apou Athuan Abonmai' was a leader who always strived for unity and prosperity among tribal people, it recalled.

The Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress Committee (MPTCC) also condemned the abduction and brutal killing of former ZB president Athuan Abonmai at Pallong village on September 22.MPTCC in a statement, said that the incident has once again brought forth the lawlessness in hills and the weakness of security personnel.

Initiating disciplinary action and suspending few security officials is not enough, it said while suggesting the State Government to hand over the case to higher agency like NIA and do the needful to ensure that there is rule of law in the hill districts as well.

Athuan who worked for the unity and integrity of the State deserves utmost respect, MPTCC said.

The Central Government and the State should own up the responsibility for the incident and the State Home Minister should step down on moral ground, it demanded.

Brutal killing of Dr Kishan, Rajen and Token; turning blind eye to the collection of illegal tax, extortion, loot and harassment to the commuters, drivers and handymen along the National Highways; harassment and intimidation of people by own State forces; non deployment of highway protection force hint towards creating a platform to bring in two administration in the State, MPTCC charged.

It is high time the State Government does everything possible to extend governance to hill districts and fulfil the aspirations of the late tribal leader.

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