IMPHAL, July 17: Former state Chief Minister Wahengbam Nipamacha Singh expired at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, this late morning at 10:30am at the age of 83.
Meanwhile, as a mark of respect to the former Chief Minister, the Governor has ordered all government offices and educational institutions under the state government to remain closed on July 18.
Nipamacha is survived by his wife Wahengbam Maipakpi Devi.
However, the Indian tri-color which is usually found draped on the bier of the coffin of state leaders was missing.
What was conspicuous during the journey of the dead body from the hospital to his residence where his last rite was performed is the absence of the Indian tri-colour from being draped around the bier of the coffin.
MSCP MLAs were also not present during the performing of the last rite.
Meanwhile, the former CM’s last rite was held this evening inside his Wangoi Wahengbam leikai residence amidst a gun salute from 1st Manipur Rifles personnel and a two minute silence.
Before the body was cremated according to religious beliefs, several members of the state Legislative Assembly led by the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and followed by state Assembly Speaker Th Lokeshor offered floral tributes to the former state leader.
Speaking at the demise of the former CM, the present Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh said that Nipamacha’s demise is a great loss to the state.
He said Nipamacha was a rare Chief Minister who had earned the love and admiration of the people for his straight forwardness, sense of public service, innate simplicity and honesty.
Chief minister O. Ibobi singh said that in his death, the state has lost an eminent political leader and an excellent human being. Ibobi singh convey deepest condolences and sympathies to the family members and pray to almighty god too give them strength to withstand this loss.
MPCC president Gaikhangam while expressing his heartfelt condolence said the loss is unreplaceable and added that the former Chief Minister had sacrifice a lot for the state.
Lok Sabha MP from the state Th Meinya had also expressed his condolence at the demise of Nipamacha.
Others who paid tribute to the former Chief Minister include, state Home Minister Gaikhangam, Minister Hemochandra, Minister AK Mirabai, Minister Md Nasir, Minister Ratankumar, Minister Oken.
Another former state Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam also paid his respect to the dead former Chief Minister.
Others who arrived at the residence of the former Chief Minister include former Minister W Angou, state Police DGP, Y Joykumar and several other state police officials.
Nipamacha Singh was the Chief Minister from 1997 to 2001 of the United Front government led by his party, Manipur State Congress Party.
Speaking to media persons, a bereaved friend of the deceased state head said last month, Nipamacha had gone to pay his condolence at a nearby house where he slipped and twisted his left foot.
He headed some days later he complained of pain in his foot and was admitted at Raj Polyclinic on July 5 then shifted on July 6 to RIMS.
He was again moved to July 7 and again shifted back to RIMS on July 15.
Nipamacha is said to be a BP and heart patient and having kidney problems too.
Elected five times to the Assembly from Wangoi in Imphal West district, Nipamacha was a state minister from 1977 to 79 and later became the Assembly Speaker in 1995.
He was the state Chief Minister from 1997 to 2001 of the United Front government led by his party, Manipur State Congress Party.
After completing his Masters` degree (education) and teaching at the prestigious Johnstone Higher Secondary School here, Singh had joined active politics as a member of Indian National Congress in 1971.
Meanwhile, condemnations have been pouring in since this morning on the demise of former Chief Minister W Nipamacha Singh.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, Manipur Pradesh today held a condolence meeting at its office in respect to the former CM.
A press statement said, the meeting which was presided by the party’s vice president in the chair expressed deep sorrow and grief on the sudden demise of W Nipamacha Singh who had dedicated his life for the society.
The Communist Party of India, Manipur State Council has also expressed sorrow over the demise of W Nipamacha Singh.