Cortege of mourners flooded Andro Torongthel Integrity Park on Sunday to observe the ‘Mangani Leihun’ of the 13 martyrs who were allegedly abducted and killed by suspected Kuki militants at Leithao village in first week of December.
Shops and other business establishments in Imphal, Thoubal, Yairipok and several other areas kept their shutters shut in light of the occasion.
At Andro Torongthel, the whole observation kicked off from early morning with thousands in white swarming the venue to pay tribute at the final resting place of the 13 martyrs.
Prominent groups and organisations of the state also visited the resting site to pay tribute to the unsung martyrs.
Families, relatives and people from various walks of life numbering in thousands all gathered for the Mangani Leihun while eminent artists presented several patriotic numbers in honour of the departed souls.
A medical team was also stationed at the venue to aid weary mourners.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the occasion, father of one of the deceased martyrs Mayengbam Thoiba lambasted the authority for failing to protect the state and its people from the ongoing atrocities.
“They would know how it feels to lose a child only when they experience it firsthand. The elites live on comfortably in their mansion while the common poor folks are at the frontline,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to all the people of Manipur for honouring his son and his fellow colleagues.
“I am proud of my son and his patriotic ideals. He laid down his life pursuing something which he believed in dearly,” he said.
He further called upon all the people in Manipur to wake up and ward off enemies who wished to dismantle the fabric of Manipuri society.
It may be mentioned that the 13 bodies were found with multiple bullet wounds at Leithao village located about 45 km from Machi Police Station in Tengnoupal district.
The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, India had taken suo-motu cognizance of the Leithao village killing and sought a report from the Manipur government.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to a serious issue of human rights violations, which is a matter of concern. The incident, as reported, indicates a lapse on the part of the law enforcing agencies and the forces deployed to ensure peace and law and order in the state.
Accordingly, it has issued notices to the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police, Manipur calling for a detailed report in the matter within two weeks. It should include the status of the FIR registered by the police and steps taken by the state government to ensure that such incidents of violence do not take place anywhere in the state.
The Commission has further observed that the reported loss of 13 human lives, that too in an area, which remained calm since the tension erupted in the state of Manipur in May this year, is indeed alarming and disturbing.