IMPHAL, Aug 16 : Comme-moration programme of the 12th death anniversary of Pebam Chittaranjan, who committed self-immolation in protest against AFSPA, was organised by Manipur Students’ Federation(MSF) today.
After unveiling the bustof Pebam Chittaranjan at Bishnupur Bazar, floral tribute was paid to the martyr by a large number of people.
Continuing the commemoration programme, a mass rally was taken out from Takhellambam Leikai till THAU Ground where the main programme was held.
Senior Advocate Khaidem Mani who attended the programme as the chief guest said the sacrifice of Chittaranjan will be remembered by the people of Manipur all the time.
“AFSPA was first imposed in Naga inhabited areas after which it was gradually imposed in the rest of the State. We have witnessed how the draconian AFSPA law has curtailed the right of every human being. Both young and old alike have been demanding the repeal of the Act ever since it was imposed and while doing so, Chittaranjan sacrificed his life. Chittarajan’s bravery and his sacrifice will be remembered by the people all the time,” Khaidem Mani said.
He continued, “Jeevan Reddy Committee’s recommendation to repeal AFSPA was turned down which evidently showed how innocent citizens are the victims of bad governance.” In order to enable people’s grievances to be heard and resolved, good governance is a must. To have good governance, electoral reform is essential, he said. “What will happen to the State if an ignorant person is to represent the people ? To establish a benchmark for good governance, people need to choose a leader who understands the values of human rights and can voice our concerns,” Khaidem Mani added.
“Constitutional fight is what people can resort to against AFSPA for which we require good governance. What we have now is a Government represented by educated but indeterminate people,” he said.
Phulindro Konsam, Human Rights defender and co-ordinator of the Working Committee of the Apunba Lup, stated that many people and families have been victimized by AFSPA. “Sharmila was on hunger strike for 16 years in protest against the draconian AFSPA. Her struggle should never be forgotten by the people. However, her choice to contest an election may not have any positive impact.”
MSF president Oinam Nandababu urged the people to work collectively whenever any issue arises in order to reach the desired goal successfully. As part of the programme, a blood donation camp was also organised by JNIMS medical team.