As per the programme made by JPO Churachandpur in cohort with the Union government, the 87 martyrs, who laid down their lives following the outbreak of the present crisis since May 3, 2023, were laid to rest at Martyrs Cemetery, Sehken, near Mata Dam with full honour accompanied by 87 gun salute from different tribes.
The burial place is about 7 km from the town where the JPO transported the martyrs family who were given time to place wreath and mourn their death/loved ones at the burial grounds.
Prior to the burial, which began at 2:00 PM, a ‘Final tribute to our martyrs’ programme was held at Peace Ground, Tuibong which was organised by the JPOs at 11 am. It was attended by leaders of ITLF, various Inpis’, Christian Goodwill Committee, different student organisations and representatives of Central YMA from Mizoram and Zo United. MLA of Henglep AC Letzamang Haokip also attended the tribute program at Peace Ground, Tuibong.
The tribute programme for the fallen heroes was also attended by family members/next kins of the martyrs who were each presented with Rs 1,000 by Central YMA while the lone MLA of Henglep AC Churachandpur district also draped each 87 Martyrs’ coffins with Tribal shawls.
In his welcome speech, the convenor of ITLF thanked all the stakeholders for their participation admitting that this is the second attempt to have the burial done for which he also thanked the victims’ families for their perseverance and co-operation. He also thanked the representatives from Mizoram’s Central YMA who had been constantly helping their brother in Manipur in this crisis.
ZO United convenor Albert Renthlei spoke on the need for unity stating that they are from the same blood and that ZO descendents are subjugated, attacked and mistreated in Manipur. We are saved only by those who sacrificed their blood and by the frontline workers, he said, adding that we are destined to die one day but the way these 87 martys gave their life should be an example and an eye opener for the Zo community so as to come out strong and unity. He also spoke about the importance of the ZO descendents going offensive to get their rights.
The president of Central YMA, Lalmachhuana said that the cry of 87 martyrs had brought them here today, telling the gathering that Mizo will never back away from helping their brother. He also said that everyone from the nooks and corners of Mizoram had come forward to help, having already donated it through ZO United.
Talking about the recent development in Churachandpur about the differences between two groups, he called on them to be united and be one as such things are not acceptable at this juncture.
Are we ready, that’s what we need to ask ourselves as all of us are volunteers in this suppression war precipitated by the Meetei who are trying to snatch our ancestral land, he said.
As we can’t and had no reason to be close with the Meetei, the need of the hour is Separate Administration for which our martyrs shed their blood which demarcates our boundary, he said.
Wednesday marked 231 days since the present crisis erupted in Manipur and ever since, 46 death bodies were kept at Churachandpur District Hospital and Medical College’s morgue, and with the transportation of 41 bodies from Imphal earlier this month, 87 are buried on Wednesday, including 24 women; the victims include as young as 1 month and as old as 87 years.