IMPHAL, April 3: Womenfolk of the Keishamthong Kabui Khul, Sawombung Kabui Khul, Ragailong Kabui Khul, Gaipuinam village and other Kabui groups of the state today staged a sit in protest at their respective Khul gates demanding the safe release of 14 year old Alice Kamei, a student of Grace Academy, Nambol under Thoubal district who went missing from her school boarding from 10th March.
The protesters where held placards and banners proclaiming “We want safe release of Alice Kamei”, “Save school children”, “Less than 18 years is minor age as per the law” , “Set children free from exploitation”, “Stop recruiting child soldiers”, “Respect human rights”, “Alice Kamei is a student and is not for UGs”, “Abduction and kidnapping never leads to glorious living, mean people do kidnapping”, and “Abduction and kidnapping are committed by psychotic and imbalanced people”.
Speaking to the media at the side line of the protest at Ragailong Kabui Khul, Indira Kamei the mother of Alice appealed for the safe release of her daughter to the concerned who have kept Alice in their custody by looking at the hardships being faced by the family members and on the ground of humanity.
An appeal released by the Publicity wing of the All Zeliangrong Student Union Assam, Manipur, Nagaland; Zeliangrong Students Union of Manipur and the Zeliangrong Youth Front issued to the media further alleged that according to reliable sources, Alice is in the custody of the RPF/ PLA.
The release further mentioned that the student groups had appealed for the safe release of the captive minor girl several times but all their efforts have gone unattended and totally ignored.
It also said that as a mark of support and solidarity to the family members of the captive girl, the joint student bodies along with different Zeliangrong social organizations had imposed a 48 hour total blockade along the National Highway in Zeliangrong areas with effect from 27th March midnight as its first phase of agitation to secure the safe release of the minor girl. It also said that with no other alternative option, the student groups will launch different forms of democratic agitation in collaboration with various civil society organizations of the state including human right groups.
Meanwhile, the Centre for Organisation Research and Education (CORE) has expressed deep concern about the reported kidnapping and child soldier recruitment of two adolescent girls studying in class IX and X student at Grace Reach Academy, on 10th March 2013 from their School’s boarding by RPF/PLA (Revolutionary Peoples Front/Peoples Liberation Army).
In a statement Dr Laifungbam D Roy, Convenor CORE said witnessing the series of protests and appeals by civil society organisation and students’ community, it is clear that there is no tangible action taken up by the state and its agencies for the safety, security and integrity of the two girls who are in the hands of an armed opposition group.
“It has to be reminded that kidnapping and recruitment of child soldiers are against National and International Standard norms. Thus, concerning the safety, security, physical, social and mental integrity of the two juvenile girls, we humbly appeal the state government to ensure the safe release of the two students to their respective parents without any condition and provide immediate medical, education and social assistance for the end of justice”, the statement added.
It also appealed to the RPF/PLA to urgently clarify on the reported kidnapping of the two girls from Grace Reach Academy at Kakching.