Robinhood finally laid to rest; record turn-out of supporters during funeral

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People surround the truck carrying Sapam Robinhood’s body on Thursday.
People surround the truck carrying Sapam Robinhood’s body on Thursday.

IMPHAL, September 3: Lamjing Meira Sapam Robinhood was finally laid to rest in a fitting traditional burial with prayers and salutation from thousands of people today.

The atmosphere was such that 117 people fainted during his funeral procession and were admitted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences.

Thousands of people from all walks of life participated in his last rites from early morning till late evening until his body was buried at the foothills of Awa Ching of Baruni Ching under Imphal East district around 6:30 pm.

Since early morning, people started flooding all routes towards the JNIMS morgue where the 17-year old`™s lifeless body was kept for nearly two months – 58 days to be precise- since July 8 when he was killed in police action against a student rally demanding implementation of the ILPS in the State.

Robinhood`™s body was carried in a Keiren Keichao adorned with traditional Heikat Leikat.

The JAC Robinhood along with the JCILPS and other supporting student bodies led the funeral procession from the JNIMS morgue to his residence in Lairikyengbam Leikai and to his birthplace, Keishamthong after a stopover at his school, Ananda Higher Secondary Academy.

The procession carrying his body also passed through Khurai Lamlong, Soibam Leikai, Nongmeibung, Yaiskul and after reaching Keishamthong turned backed.

At his Lairikyengbam Leikai, his family and relatives bade their final goodbyes and adorned his lifeless body with prayers and floral tributes. At his school there was an emotional condolence where the students and teachers paid their last respects.

People thronged the routes paying respect to the martyr, who had sacrificed his life for the indigenous people of the State.

Thousands chanted slogans of patriotism and acknowledgement of his sacrifice along the routes. The streets were adorned with floral tributes as people showered blessings and flowers to the body of Sapam Robinhood along the route.

Several people were emotional about his sacrifice and partake in the long distance march up to the hillock where he was buried.

The burial was preceded by solemn indigenous rituals including a Thang-ta salute and an adorning song composed for the martyr.

The tribute song was written by Narendra Ningomba with music and composition by Hamom Naba and Rahul.

Despite the scorching sun in the morning and the rain in the afternoon, the spirit of oneness and solidarity was solid and explicitly shown by the multitudes of men and women participating in the procession.

Men and women, young and old joined the funeral march and attended his burial ceremony without flinching despite the distance and the slippery uphill climb.

All those who had been on hunger strike till today also attended the funeral and decided to walk the length of the hill. And during the mournful funeral after sunset at the Awa Ching, several people fainted and since the back-up ambulance services was not sufficient, other volunteers assisted to transport the patients till the hospital.

During the funeral, there was a brief drizzle as the fog descended from the mountains to envelop the site.

And as darkness sets in, the body was buried with a mournful farewell from the thousands of well-wishers.

The Khetrigao Meitei Pangal inclusive of men and women, young and old conducted a cleanliness drive at the burial spot and the adjoining road during the last three days.

They also prepared the graveyard for Sapam Robinhood`™s burial today.

It may be mentioned here that late Sapam Robinhood died in police action on July 8 while he was participating in a rally demanding legal protection of the native people of Manipur.

The Government of Manipur ultimately passed three bills in the assembly on the 31 of August after the agitation aggravated following Sapam Robinhood`™s death.

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