IMPHAL, April 24: Deeming it necessary to inculcate peaceful activities and do away with feeding the minds of children with daily reports of violence in the trouble torn state, civil bodies, parents and other like minded organization in Thoubal staged a protest demonstration against gun culture and human rights violations.
The protestors as a part of marking the protest made a bonfire of toy guns at Tangjeng Ningthou School.
The protest was jointly organized by the campaign committee Thoubal along with various civil bodies including Women Action for Development (WAD), Centre for Social Development (CSD), Life Care Foundation, (LCF) Thoubal, Social Action Development Organisation, Thoubal Sadhokpam etc.
The sit in protest held at Thoubal Tangjeng NH-39 roadside under the banner “sit in protest against human rights violation and Gun Culture” was participated by over hundreds of residents of Thoubal districts including children and grown ups.
The protestors used placards reading “No to gun yes to peace” “Abolish Gun culture” “We want real taste of democracy” “Wake up 60 MLAs” Train Police for properly for crime investigation” “Respect Human Rights” etc during the demonstration.
Speaking to media persons on the sideline of the demonstration, Th Arunkumar, secretary LCF stated that Manipur has passed through numerous difficult phases due to ethnic uprisings and insurgent activities during the last few decades and that during this said period thousands of people have lost their lives and thousands of children left orphaned, traumatized and deprived of a normal childhood.
Maintaining that insurgency is the one of the biggest problem in the state, he further pointed out that as per the 2001 census the state has one armed security personnel for every 50 citizens in the state.
He further stated that the central government has sanctioned crores of rupees in the state in trying to control the more than 40 different UG groups currently operating in the state.
The tendency to turn towards violence is much higher among the children and the teenagers as they are exposed to all the all violent activities like the security personnel displaying their arms around their respective camps or the UG groups releasing their various dictates through the media and above all these factors are assisted by easy availability of toy guns in the state, he added.
Arunkumar further pointed out that taking serious note of such factors and fearing their impact on the society, the protest was organized.
Mandir Laishram, secretary Social Action Development Organisation, said that the toy guns not only prompt the urge to use guns but it has created many other problems. He further stated that the playing with toy guns have resulted in many unwanted incidents ranging from children getting shot in the eye or fights amongst them, and as such the issue of toy guns have become an issue of concern for the state.
A rally was taken out from the protest site till the Tangjeng Ningthou School wherein all the toy guns collected from in an around the area were put together and set ablaze at the school ground amidst chanting of slogan not to use guns and ban guns. Replacing the toy guns the organizers distributed books, pencils and sports kits to the children gathered today.
The gathering also unanimously agreed to ban selling of toy guns at their respective places.