‘Manorama’s murder remembered to revitalise fight against AFSPA’
The ‘brutal’ rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama 15 years back by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles was remembered today during anniversary observance organised by Thangjam Manorama Memorial Charitable Trust and Apunba Lup at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound.
Speaking at the occasion, coordinator of Apunba Lup, Phulindro Konsam stated that the remembrance was hosted with the objective of revitalising the anti-AFSPA movement, which has lasted for years in the state.
He said that many civilians lost their lives in fake encounter cases in blatant power misuse by security forces with the extra powers and the impunity enjoyed by the personnel under the colonial act. More than 10,000 civilians of both hills and valley of the state were brutally murdered and tortured in the name of suppressing insurgency movement under the draconian act, he added.
While recounting that Manorama was brutally raped and murdered by 17 AR personnel in a classic case of blatant power misuse behind the shield of AFSPA on July 11, 2004, Phulindro asserted that the anti-AFSPA movement was given more vigour with the murder. The inhumane act was condemned from various quarters at the international level as well, he recalled.
Back in Manipur, working committee of Apunba Lup, Manipur was formed by conglomerating more than 30 CVOs and spearheaded the series of protests that followed the Manorama murder. Unable to bear the incident, womenfolk marched to the 17 AR headquarters back in Kangla then, flung away their clothes and thundered “Go Back Indian Army” in protest, Phulindro noted and added that self-immolation of student leader Pebam Chitarranjan were among the many strong and intense movements against AFSPA that followed the Manorama murder.
The Apunba Lup coordinator maintained that the demand to revoke the colonial act and to serve befitting punishment to personnel of the 17 AR involved in the brutal murder is yet to be fulfilled and justice is yet to be served. As such, he asserted that people’s movement against AFSPA needs to be carried on and he also observed that the remembrance today will remind the younger generations of the atrocities of AFSPA.
Even though the BJP in its vision document in 2017 promised to punish security personnel involved in fake encounters and extra judicial killings, the state BJP government has not even given prosecution sanction despite submission of charge sheets against accused personnel, he expressed condemnations.
Coordinators, Apunba Lup, Yumnam Ratankumar and Joy Chingakham; assistant coordinator, Apunba Lup, Joychandra Konthoujam; president, Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup, Ph. Sakhi; president, Poirei Leimarol Apunba Meira Paibi, M. Memchoubi; president, Kangleipak Lamjing Apunba Meira Lup, Y. Leirik Leima and president, Ching-Tam United Women Association, M. Purnimashi Leima were also present during the occasion, which was attended by family members and various representatives of CVOs.
Speakers at the occasion observed that Manorama’s case is a major milestone in the anti-AFSPA movement and needs to be remembered. They also stressed that the people need to unitedly take a stand against AFSPA and join in the continuous struggle till AFSPA is revoked.
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