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India: Murder of Manipuri female activists

17. July 2004

48 hour general strike called

Protesting strongly against the brutal murder of Thangjam Manorama by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles on the night of July 10, twenty six organisations of the State have imposed a 48 hr general strike in the State from midnight tonight. Mention may be made here that Thangjam Manorama was apprehended by personnel of 17 Assam Rifles from Bamon Kampu and shot dead after severe torture. Her body was later recovered from Keirao – Wangkhem road near Ngariyan Mapao Maring Village. In a public meeting held at Bamon Kampu this afternoon in connection with the killing, members of various organisations, besides resolving to call the 48 hour general strike also resolved to organise a public rally on July 16 after which memoranda would be submitted to the Chief Minister, DIG 9 Sector Brig VK Pillai and the Governor. The twenty six bodies which have called the 48 hrs general strike include UCM, MAFYF, AMSU, ASIF, HERICON, Human Rights Alert (HRA), COHR, AMKIL, NIPCO, CLK, MACHA LEIMA, MAPI Council, IMMA, THANIL, Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup, UPF, IPSA, All Manipur Women Social Reformation Development Samaj, All Manipur Tammi Chingmi Apunba Lup, Nongpok Leingak Nupi Lup Wangkhei, Khongjom Circle Meira paibi Forum, Thoubal Dist United Women Development Organisation, Women Association for Civic Action of Kangleipak and MEEKHOL. Meanwhile, a committee called the “Peoples Action Committee Against the Brutal Custodial killing of Th Manorama” was formed today by the locals of Bamon Kampu. On the other hand, Imphal Tangkhul Shanao Long and Manipuri Students Federation have also expressed its support to the 48 hrs State wide general strike called by the 26 organisations.

Judicial Inquiry in the pipeline

The State Government has decided to institute a Judiciary Inquiry into the alleged custodial killing of Thangjam Manorama by 17 Assam Rifles personnel. The decision was taken during a high level meeting convened by the Chief Minister at his office chamber today and attended by members of the JAC formed against the killing and high ranking Government officials. The report is however unofficial as a formal order to institute the judicial inquiry is yet to be issued till late this evening.

Women folk line up series of agitation, bandh called

Strongly condemning the killing of Th Manorama after arrest by Assam Rifles personnel, the All Manipur Nupi Marup and Manipur Keithel Nupi Marup, Khwairamband Bazar today downed shops at Khwairamband bazar from 1 pm today. The women folk have also imposed a Manipur bandh from 12 am of July 13 till 6 pm of July 14 to lodge their protest. Speaking to newsmen at Irabot Bhawan today, president of the two women bodies, Y Ibeni said that they would launch a series of agitation against the killing of a woman after arrest by security personnel. As part of the agitation, dharnas will be held all over the State from July 15 onwards, she said and appealed to all to extend their co-operation and take part in the agitation. A team of women will also leave for New Delhi within this week to highlight the atrocities of the Assam Rifles personnel, she said adding that memoranda to this effect would be submitted to the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and President. In a no nonsense tone, Ibeni further said that the Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, should make public the post mortem report as there are grave suspicions over the manner of the death of the woman. Strongly condemning the killing of a woman after arrest, Ibeni said that even in times of war women are not subjected to such excesses. This is the first time that the security personnel have dumped off a suspect after issuing the arrest memo, Ibeni noted and added that this shows the audacity of the security personnel. Ibeni questioned why there were no women personnel at the time when Manorama was picked up by the AR men and added that the law does not allow a woman to be picked up after sun set. The women folk will not remain quiet in the face of such excesses.

All Manipur United Club´s Organisation (AMUCO)