ANSAM observes ‘Remembrance Day’

The All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM) observed the ‘Remembrance Day’ at Kapaam village in Chandel district of Manipur on Friday to remember Shelly Chara (1958-1995), Ashun R Jangvei (1961-1998), NG Sainii (1920-1998), Namthiurai Abonmai (1966- 2005), Gemcliff Zimik (1972-2007), Neli Chakho (1990- 2010), Dikho Loshou (1990-2010), Mavopam Ramror (1979-2014) and Ramkashing Vashi (1988-2014). The occasion is observed every year on June 19 organised by the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM).

In his presidential address, Joseph Adani, president of ANSAM, said that “death alone doesn’t make a person a martyr but the supreme sacrifice and heroic death for the love of motherland make a person a martyr”.

Referring to the above names, Joseph Adani said that they “sacrificed their lives for a cause and a reason, a cause for a better tomorrow”. He also called them God’s chosen people.

President of Khurmi Naga People Organisation (KNPO) and former ANSAM president Paulhring Langhu delivered the “memorial message” while ANSAM general secretary AC Thotso gave “word of gratitude” on the occasion. Invocation of the event was done by AS Wungnashang, president of TKS while Song of Tribute was presented by SK Redarshing.

There was a “blessing of martyrs’ families” led by Rev Philip Roel who is the pastor of Kapaam Baptist Church. Benediction was done by David L Manahshing who is the president of NSUC.

Earlier in the programme, eulogy was given by Ng Aquiline Moyon and Fabiola Chinir, vice president of TTBR, chaired the event. During the programme, leaders laid wreaths to honour the deceased persons.

According to the eulogy prepared by ANSAM, it was during the tenure of Shelly Chara as president of the Naga students’ body the infamous “Operation Bluebird” was launched in the wake of the Oinam incident. Later, Shelly Chara became the Convenor of the Co-ordination Committee on Oinam Issue(COCOI). He was arrested under the Anti Terrorist Act in May 1988. In 1993, Shelly Chara became the Convener of NPMHR. According to the ANSAM note, he represented the Naga People’s Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) at various forums in India and abroad particularly on the issues of the peoples’ struggle for self-determination, justice and human rights. “Shelly Chara was assassinated on June 19, 1995 by the non-state actors,” the eulogy prepared by the ANSAM said.

Regarding Ashun R. Jangvei, the ANSAM note said that he joined the 14th Indian Artillery in 1985 and left his service in 1989. He served the ANSAM as Social & Cultural Secretary in 1990. He was elected as president, Lamkang Students’ Union (LKK) in 1997 when the Kukis and the Nagas were at the peak of a violent inter-tribal conflict. He was killed in the conflict, the eulogy prepared by the ANSAM said.

Regarding Sainii of Tungam village, he was a 78 years old man and serving as a deacon in his church “when he was killed by the indiscriminate firing of Manipur Rifles at Senapati bridge during the ANSAM agitation against the attempt of the Government of Manipur to create Sadar Hills district in Manipur”. According to the ANSAM, he died leaving his wife and four children. “His wife is now more than 70 years old and often talks about his life and the values that he stood for,” the ANSAM added.

Regarding Namthiurai Abonmai, he died during the ANSAM agitation of 2005.

In June 2001, the Indo-Naga ceasefire was extended to all the Naga areas ‘without territorial limits’. According to the Naga student body, there was a violent protest in the valley against the Naga people’s quest for peace and proclaimed that ‘there are no Nagas in Manipur state’. “The violence led to death of 18 arsonists who attacked Government establishments, including the state Assembly building,” said the ANSAM. The Naga students’ body further said there was a demand that the anniversary of the death of the 18 “violent law breakers” be declared as a state holiday. In 2005, the State Government of Manipur declared June 18 as a state holiday, the Naga student body added. The ANSAM protested against this “blatant insult” to the Naga people. “On July 19, 2005, Namthiurai Abonmai felt that the only extreme steps would evoke response from the state and Central Governments and reverse the glorification and legitimisation of the communal violence of June 18, and took great personal risk and attempted to blow up the Irang bridge,” said the ANSAM. Unfortunately he lost his life during the “valiant” act, the eulogy compiled by the Naga student body added.

Regarding Gemcliff Zimik, he had served the Zingtun Tangkhul Katamnao Long (ZTKL) from 2004 till his untimely death in 2007. According to the ANSAM, in 2006, he was made the Co¬-Convenor of Co¬ordination Committee, Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS). During this time schools in Naga areas in Manipur were “prompted” to take their HSLC examination in Nagaland under NBSE as a protest against imposition of Manipuri language. While facilitating the student candidates to their respective examination centres in Nagaland,Gemcliff died in a car accident in the wee hours of January 27, 2007.

Regarding Neli Chakho and Dikho Loshou, both were college students “killed by the Manipur state forces” on May 6, 2010 at Mao Gate when the Naga people protested against the ban of “the chief of peace Naga negotiator and the Ato Kilonser of NSCN, Th. Muivah from visiting Somdal, his native village, by the Manipur Government”, the ANSAM said.

Regarding Ramkashing Vashi and Mayopam Ramror, the ANSAM alleged that they were killed on August 30, 2014 when the Manipur State commandos and Indian Reserve Battalion opened fire on a “peaceful mass rally” held in Ukhrul organised by the United Naa Council (UNC) against the “militarization of Naga areas”. Both of them were from Teinem village.

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