August 7, 2022 || Tongsan Media Group ||

Amidst the high voltage tension surrounding the news about the proposed burial of Kuki-Zo tribal martyrs at S. Bualjang Village, near Haolai Khopi, in Churachandpur district, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) has differed the burial plan for another five days following the intervention of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah.

However, the condolence service for the departed souls went ahead as planned with full honour and tribute. Thousands of people congregated at Peace Ground, Tuibong, to pay their respect to the fallen heroes. The proposed site for the burial of tribal martyrs at S. Boljang village was objected by the Manipur government, including the Meitei CSOs and Meira Paibis, stating that the site was state government’s land.

Following a new development over the controversy surrounding the proposed burial site, ITLF leaders and other stakeholders had a marathon meeting last night till 4:00 am of this morning. “Having faith in the assurance made by the Ministry Home Affairs, we have differ the burial ceremony for another five days,” said one of the ITLF leaders. The Mizoram Chief Minister, Zoramthanga and the Central Young Mizo Association (CYMA) have also made a similar request, thereby postponing the burial date.

Though the burial ceremony could not go ahead as planned, the condolence service for the Kuki-Zo martyrs was held at Peace Ground, Tuibong in the presence of the martyr’s families and various CSOs leaders. A sea of people dressed in black attires thronged Peace Ground to attend the last rites of their fallen heroes. The condolence service began with the Joint Artiste Association Lamka presenting a choral hymnal tribute titled- “When You Go Home” for the tribal martyrs.

Delivering farewell message for the departed souls, Pagin Haokip, Chairman ITLF paid his respect and tribute to the brave martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the people and the land. He also promised that the blood they have shed would not go in vain and assured the victim’s family and the mammoth gathering that they the tribal communities would not rest until the desired ‘separate administration’ is achieved.

During his speech, Haokip also spelt out the reason for deferment of today’s burial ceremony and appeals the public to bear with leaders for the inconveniences caused at the last hour. He said, “the ITLF deferred the burial ceremony only after receiving a written assurance by the Union Home Ministry in which Amit Shah has agreed to fulfilled the five points demand raised by the ITLF to defer the burial ceremony.” He also read out the written assurance made by the Home Minister in front of the public.

Earlier, the ITLF had raised five points demand to the Ministry of Home Affairs, if they were to defer the proposed burial ceremony. The five point demands included legalization of the burial site in S. Boljang of Churachandpur, Manipur (Dag No. 20022, 2025, 2161 and 2162 of 98-Torbung Lourup of Churachandpur district); no deployment of all Meitei state forces in the Hill districts for the safety of the Kuki-Zo communities; to bring the dead bodies of the Kuki-Zo communities that are lying in Imphal to Lamka; to speed up the demand for total separation from Manipur and to transfer tribal jail inmates in Imphal to other states.

While extending gratitude to the Mizoram government led by CM Zoramthanga and Mizo CSOs for the solidarity extended to the oppressed tribal people of Manipur, Chinlunthang, MLA, 60-Singhat AC, speaking on behalf of 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs, called for Unity. He said CSOs leaders, elected representatives and the SoOs groups have a consensus agreement on the demand for separate administration, which is a manifestation of unity among us. He also highlighted various measures taken up by the 10 MLAs during this crisis in order to foster the demand for separate administration.

The condolence message was delivered by Rev. S. Vungminthang, Chairman Christian Goodwill Council Churachandpur, and offered a solemn prayer for the departed souls to rest in peace. The condolence service was organized by the Joint Philanthropic Organizations (JPO) Lamka.

Ref: The Hills Journal

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