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16th Students’ Martyrdom Day observed in Manipur

16th Students’ Martyrdom Day observed in Manipur
Observance of Students’ Martyrdom by MSF in Imphal on Sunday. (NP)
Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 16 | Publish Date: 8/16/2020 12:26:14 PM IST

Students’ body Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) in Manipur renewed its vow to fight for the repeal of Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act (AFSPA) on the occasion of 16th Students’ Martyrdom Day on Sunday.

The student body has been observing Students’ Martyrdom Day every year in remembrance of the sacrifice made by student leader Pebam Chittaranjan

Pebam self- immolated on August 15, 2004 in wake of a mass uprisings demanding repeal of the AFSPA following killing of Thangjam Manorama by troopers of Assam Rifles after she was picked up on suspicions of being associated with a rebel group. 

Chittaranjan set himself on fire at Bishnupur Bazar in  Bishnupur district to demand repeal of AFSPA when the nation was celebrating Independence Day. He succumbed to his injury on August 16 at RIMS hospital. He was an advisor of MSF and was 28 years old at the time of his death. 

The day was observed on a low scale and by strictly adhering to COVID-19 protocols at the memorial sites at Bishnupur district headquarters as well as Pebam Chittaranjan’s locality in Imphal’s Kwakeithel.

Talking to reporters, MSF president Sajat Phuyamayum vow that MSF will continue campaigns until AFSPA is repealed.

He reminded that Pebam had sacrificed his life for the sake of people of the state who were living under the fear of draconian laws. 

He made the “supreme sacrifice” on India’s Independence Day to show the world that even as citizens of a free nation, the rights of the people of Manipur were being suppressed by various draconian laws in the name of countering insurgents.

He alleged that the chaotic situation with a bunch of problems in the state was brought about by curtailment of right to life under black laws for a long time.

“Chittaranjan’s supreme sacrificed carries a great message. He gave the message to the oppressed people that it is better to die than to live like a lifeless soul,” the MSF president said. 

He demanded that all black laws must be repealed and there should be no oppression of any forms and imperialism should cease.

When there was no right to live, there would be no meaning of independence, he added.

Leaders of MSF, other student bodies, leaders of various civil society organisations and women based bodies paid floral tributes. Many noted human right activists also turned up to pay floral tributes to the statue of the Pebam in Imphal’s Kwakeithel.

Among them was chairman of Committee on Human Rights Manipur Phunindro Konsam and AMUCO president Nando Luwang.

Nando Luwang expressed concern over the human rights violation in the state under the draconian laws extended by the Centre in the name of countering insurgency.

 

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