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Festival Of Hope, Justice And Peace Concludes

IMPHAL, Nov 6: The festival of Hope, Justice and Peace that was kick started in commemoration of Sharmila’s decade long struggle against injustices and human rights abuses committed by armed forces under the immunity provided by AFSPA 1958 came to a sober close pregnant with profound insights.

The concluding day of the festival was observed at Nupi Lal Memorial Complex, Imphal, with mass prayer attended by every communities of Manipur.

Kuki, Meitei and Naga belonging to different faith convened a prayer service invoking God to intervene and bless Sharmila, the lone crusader against AFSPA and a true humanist and human being.

The multi-faith and multi-community gathering got down to entreat divine intervention in their own ways prescribed by their respective faiths.

The five-day long festival celebrating the spirit of Sharmila got underway with the second and third days being employed to discuss and discourse on the past, present and future of human rights in general and Sharmila’s struggle against AFSPA 1958 in particular. Academicians, rights crusaders, retired and serving bureaucrats, authors and film makers etc from different parts of the country pitched in to make the festival a unique and composite petition to register their protest against the powers that be and save Sharmila from ‘travesty of justice.’

On day four, a massive rally was organized by Sharmila Lanba Lup (save Sharmila group) from Porompat, where she has been taken into ‘house arrest’ in the security ward of Jawahar Lal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) to Bheigyachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT).

Despite coming in the festival with much zeal and stellar expectation of meeting and interacting with Sharmila, the delegates of the crusade regretted that they now will have to go back without any substantive breakthrough.

The delegates make known their disapproval of the Government of Manipur‘s decision to turn down the petition seeking audience with Sharmila. However, many have entertained the idea of taking to every corner of the country and beyond, the echo that reverberates across the hills and valley of Manipur ‘“ the painstaking journey of an Iron Lady called Sharmila.

*Newmai News Network

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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