IMPHAL, July 10: The 25th commemoration of the Operation Blue Bird in remembrance of the departed souls and those affected in the aftermath of the operation was held yesterday on July 9 at Oinam village, Senapati.
The program was attended by President of Naga Hoho Keviletuo Kiewhuo as chief guest and human rights laywer Nandita Haksar as presiding officer.
The function was also attended by leaders and representatives of UNC, NMA, NPMHR, NWU, NSF, ANSAM, NPO, TPO and PNU who shared their grievances of the Oinam villagers and delivered solidarity messages to villagers.
The function started at 11 in the morning with the attendees paying floral tributes to the departed souls.
Recalling the fateful day Oinam Hill village authority, chairman Th Ngulane delivered his eye witnessed tale to the participants of the day.
He recounted that the Oinam village was surrounded suddenly by the Indian armed forces and pulled out the villagers to the village ground.
He added that the villagers were forced to stay in ground night and days for more than 2 months with mere food and water and some of them were locked in church without food and water in which two women died in the church.
He further said that it is not a happy silver jubilee in fact it is fatal silver jubilee for Oinam village.
He said that four old men were taken away and buried alive in the jungle and some boys were tied upside down from trees for more than forty minutes during the operation.
He said that when boys cried for help, the village elders were helpless as they don’t have weapons to fight back the armed Assam Rifles.
The same fate was also witnessed at Purul village, he said.
The draconic personnel of Assam Rifles then burnt ninety three houses of Oinam village, Ngulane further added that the Assam Rifles were just willing to torture the villages as he witnessed.
He said that pregnant women were forced to give birth in the village ground and many village girls were taken away and raped.
The villagers were shot in front of him; he expressed that the Indian forces should go to J&K and shoot the enemies and not here.
The villagers today still await justice.
He further said that he wished all the frontal groups to come together and fight for the justice of Oinam village, he also wished to have Naga national holiday for this day.
Human right lawyer Nandita Haksar said that the fateful day of Oinam village is a unique history.
She lauded that the solidarity messages delivered by the representatives of frontal organizations are genuine.
She condemned the Indian judiciary and the villagers of Oinam must not waste any more time with the court but should put forward the case further at the international level.
She added that she wrote a book from the documents she gathered during her investigation for the case with the villagers. She gathered documents of more than 10000 pages which she said are rare documents.
She also lauded that in the course of case filing many Meiteis helped her especially SDC N Surendra Singh who gave her important documents and was later killed under mysterious circumstances.
Meanwhile, in solidarity with thousands of Nagas, Onaemene and Onaeme Delhi commemorated the 25th Anniversary of ‘Onae Reh Dah’ (Operation Bluebird- 9th July 1987) in New Delhi on July 9, at Bosco Hall, Don Bosco Provincial House, Okhla, New Delhi-110025, with the theme “Towards Glorious Future”.
An emailed statement has said, “The programme was made a success not only by the Onaeme but many of our well wishers joint us; amongst them were renowned scholars, politicians, human rights activists, pressmen, mission workers, social leaders, lawyers, seniors and the representatives of various Naga tribes in Delhi”.
“A moment of silence for the victims of the incident was observed with full due honour and respect”.
“Prof Kamal A Mitra Chenoy, JNU, a renowned scholar speaking on the topic: Operation Bluebird July 9, 1987 at Oinam Hill Village & Operation of the Nagas stated that he personally had an eye witness on the Oinam incident”. “He was sent to do some investigation about the incident. He went to Phuba village via Kangpokpi with the help of the then Senapati DC and some senior IAS officers in the state”.
“He was horrified to see the victims, the way they suffered, as it was beyond human imagination. With the camera he had he was able to click few photographs of the incident which later on they used it as the only witness to fight in the court”.
“He was told by the then Senapati SDO that the operation carried out by the Assam Rifles was preplanned”, the statement said.