CSOs, rights groups and various organisations in Manipur extended condolences to the family of human rights defender Irom Singhajit Singh, who passed away on Tuesday.
A release signed by managing trustee Just Peace Foundation (JPF) Khangembam Anandi stated that AMKIL, Nupi Samaj, Tammi Chingmi, Khwairamband Keithel Semgat Sagutpa Apunba Nupi Lup, Paona Keithel, Women Organization, Nongpok Leingak Apunba Nupi Lup, EEVFAM, Human Rights Alert and Just Peace Foundation expressed their condolences on the sudden departure of human rights defender Irom Singhajit.
“Many of us here knew him personally and he was well-loved among our network of activists. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family during this period of mourning,” it stated.
Irom Singhjit was born on April 28, 1959 in Porompat. He is the fourth child among nine siblings of Late Irom Nanda and Irom Sakhi, it stated. He first started his social work activities in rural areas as Agriculture Officer in Citizen Volunteer Training Centre (CVTC) during the late 80s, it added.
After leaving CVTC, he started supporting his youngest sister, Irom Sharmila’s struggle for the repeal of AFSPA from the day one of her fasting in 2000 throughout her 16 years of fasting till it ended in 2016.
In 2007, he went to Korea to receive the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights on behalf of his sister Sharmila. Soon after returning from Korea, he and other prominent local activists started an organisation, Just Peace Foundation (JPF) and was involved in organising the ‘Festival of Hope Justice and Peace’ across Manipur to disseminate message of peace and justice inviting several dignitaries from India and abroad including Indonesia, South Korea, Nepal, etc.
He attended the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva, Switzerland at least 3 times in 2015 and 2016 to deliver a message of gross human rights violation and the repeal of AFSPA in Manipur and elsewhere.
As a result of his generous spirit and pleasant personality, he was loved by many. “His influence will forever remain in the lives of all who knew him,” it said.
His life will forever be cherished in the lives of her children, family and friends, it added.