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21 Years Down The Line, RIMS Massacre Still Haunts

The scar still remains amid tributes paid to the victims. Image Credit: The Sangai Express.

IMPHAL, Jan 7: Along with paying rich floral tributes to the victims, the RIMS Firing Victims’ Memorial Day was observed under the aegis of RIMS Firing Victims’ Memorial Day Observation Committee at Lainingthou Khamlangbam Shanglen, Uripok Polem Leikai today.

In all, nine people including a medical student were killed when security forces opened indiscriminate firing near RIMS gate on this day in 1995.

The victims were T Rajendra of Wangkhei Ayangpalli, S Premchand of Uripok Achom Leikai, Angom Deven alias Tomba of Phayeng Sabal, RK Khogen of Lalambung Makhong Takhellambam Leikai, H Khogen of Uripok Polem Leikai, Wahengbam Opendro of Uripok Bachaspati Maning Leikai, Laimayum Pradeepkumar alias Pradeep of Brahmapur Aribam Leikai, Md Zakir Hussein of Khongjam and Momi Riba, a student of RIMS, from Arunachal Pradesh.

Apart from Momi Riba, who was a medical student, the rest of the victims were auto rickshaw drivers.

Speaking as chief guest of the observance function, retired Chairman of Board of Secondary Education, Manipur Salam Nabachandra said that the observance function has once again reminded the people of the Manipur about the victims and their killers. The family members of the victims are yet to overcome the loss.

He said that as a citizen he is really frustrated over the killing of innocent people whether by the Central security forces, State forces or the armed UG cadres.

He pointed out that at one time, people of Manipur could not speak up against such killings. But with increasing instances of innocent people being killed and other violent incidents, people have started coming out openly against such killings.

All Manipur Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup President Soibam Momon Leima, who was also present at the function, observed that people of Manipur have been caged after imposition of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and these people in the cage are being killed by the security forces with immunity. In order to stop these killings, Meira Paibi movement has been started. But the Government has been trying to suppress the Meira Paibis. Had not been for the Meira Paibis, Manipuri society would have been eliminated long ago, she observed.

She also came out strongly against the failure of the Government and its Ministers to wake up to the public demand for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the over one decade long struggle of Irom Chanu Sharmila over the same demand. The observance function was presided over by managing trustee of RIMS Firing Victims’ Memorial Trust N Kunjamohan. At the occasion, prizes of the Ist children painting organized for the students of class III to VIII were also presented among the winners.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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