The forgotten survivors of June 18 uprising – Manipur

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IMPHAL, June 17: Even as the stage is being set for the Great June Uprising Day, the two survivors handicapped in the 2001 in state action are presently living in a state of apathy.

“We both have not received any help from the government, not a single rupee from the government in the last eleven years”, Sorokhaibam Sobita, and Bhramacharimayum Biju Sharma echoed.

June Uprising Manipur , 2001
June Uprising Art Work by Mahesh Konsam - click the image to view the high resolution

In an IFP exclusive meet with the duo Biju said they are not asking for any financial help from the state. “I would have been happy if the civil society organizations or representatives of the state for that matter visit me even once”, he said.

Adding in Biju’s statement, S Sobita, aged 49, a resident of Narankonjil Mayai Leikai who lost her right leg in the firing spree of the CRPF in June 2001, mentioned that, a compensation case was forwarded by the Manipur Human Rights Commission to the state government in 2002. The MHRC with member Yambem Laba suggested the state government award Rs 50,000 to Sobita as compensation. The appeal has not been responded till date.

The MHRC’s initiative was legally persued at first but as the representing lawyer asked for fees every now and then; she could no longer afford the fee. Afterwards, she decided never to approach the government in any manner for financial help.

She also mentioned that though AMUCO provides some financial assistance annually, there is further need of surgery for the prosthetic leg to fit properly. “Right now, I use the local made prosthetic leg but it’s not comfortable”. She mentioned desire of getting a better imported one, but cannot due to lack of money.

She further stated that aside from getting invited at the observance, UCM has not given any monetory help. Presently, she is living at her husband’s quarter at JNIMS hospital. Her husband is a constable and they have been given orders for eviction.

Adding in the regard, B Biju, a resident of Nagamapal Singjubung Leirak who was wounded in the leg has undergone 6 operations till date. “The first assembly session of the SPF government in 2002, Irengbam Hemochandra had asked the Chief Minister what the government would do for the injured and hence replied that jobs befitting them would be given”, he added that there has been no such action.

Biju and Sobita in their personal opinion felt that the martyrdom observance which is carried out in different venues should be held collectively. “As both organizations came into being under the same issue and in the interest of the state, we feel that unity and integrity should be translated into action”.

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