Condolences poured in from various sections across the state, following the death of activist Soibam Momon Leima, popularly known as Ima Momon on Friday.
Ima Momon was among the state’s women leaders who took the forefront on taking out different political campaigns or fighting for social issues, including the Nisha Bandh Ihou (Anti Drugs Movement) which is closely tied to the activities of meira paibis in Manipur. She hailed from Uripok Polem Leikai and was 70 when she passed away.
She took part in the nude protest of 2004, where 12 mothers disrobed themselves in front of Kangla Gate, protesting the alleged custodial death of Th Manorama. She joined Tammi Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup in 1993.
Women Action for Development (WAD) on Saturday stated, “We are terribly shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved Human Rights Defender lma Momon who served as the President of Tammi Chingmi.”
Throughout her activism, she blazed a trail for many human rights issues in the state, it stated. lma Momon encouraged all the women in Manipur to fight for justice and empowerment. “We all knew her as a voice of reason, a lady who stood above our artificial divisions of race, tribe and region and championed the cause of humanity,” it stated. Her death has left a gaping hole among the ranks of women leaders, but she leaves behind a solid foundation for others to build upon. “The passing of Ima Momon will be an enormous loss to society. We are inspired by her activism towards society,” it stated.
In these difficult circumstances, WAD gives its solidarity to the bereaved family and pray for her soul to live in peace, it added.
The Manipur State Commission for Women (MSCW) extended condolences on the untimely demise.
A release by MSCW stated that the chairperson, members and staff of the commission shared the grief and loss of the distinguished person with her bereaved family.
Ima Momon was an active and spirited woman who took part in most of the community activities in the state. She will always be remembered by the women of the state, it stated.
All Manipur Women’s Social Reformation and Development Samaj (Nupi Samaj) has also extended condolences over the demise of Ima Momon.
A condolence meet in homage of the late social activist was organised at Uripok Polem Leikai Community Hall on Saturday with the attendees strictly adhering to COVID-19 guidelines or SOPs, Nupi Samaj stated in a release signed by its general secretary P Sobita.
The event witnessed the attendance of leaders and representatives from various CVOs of the state, and the participants paid floral tributes in front of a portrait of the late social activist. A two-minute silence was also observed in honour of the deceased soul, Nupi Samaj stated.
Sanasam Ningol Soibam (O) Momon Leima was born on July 28, 1951, and after her marriage to Soibam Samungou Meitei of Uripok Polem Leikai, she got involved with the local Meira Paibi Lup and actively took part in anti-drug activities. She served as publicity secretary of All Manipur Tammi- Chingmi Apunba Lup from 1993-1998 and its finance secretary from 1999- 2001, following which she served as president of the association till 2004, it mentioned.
The social activist was an instrumental figure in the protest movement against the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA)-1958 in 2000 besides being an active member of Sharmila Kanba Apunba Lup (SHAKAL) from 2004 to 2015. She also took prominent roles in various protest movements including that of N Sanjeeta of Jiribam, Chanu Rose of Ukhrul, Ahanjaobi of Takyel, Pramo of Keirenphabi, and Manorama of Bamon Kampu, Nupi Samaj stated.
Stating that Nupi Samaj shares in the pain and sorrow of the bereaved family, the release further mentioned that a total of 22 CVOS from across the state including AMKIL, Nupi Samaj, Tammi-Chingmi, EECHAL, UMO, EEVFAM, Nongpok Leingak Apunba Nupi Lup, NIMPAL, ANUL, Thoubal Ima, AMSU, UPF, NIPCO, MAPI Council, UCM, HRA, CADA, Macha Leima, Leimakol, Paona Bazar Women’s Organisation, and Khwairamband Nupi Keithel Semgat Sagatpa Lup have also expressed condolences over the demise of Momon Leima.
Meanwhile, our Jiribam correspondent also reported that a condolence meetingin homage of the late Soibam Momon Leima was held at the hall of Jiribam Ima Meira Paibi Lup (JIMPAL) on Saturday.
Leaders and representatives of various civil bodies of Jiribam including Jiri Development Organisation (JDO), Jiribam Ima Meira Paibi Lup (JIMPAL), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU)- Jiribam and Coalition against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA)-Jiribam paid homage to late social activist by observing a two-minute silence.