IMPHAL, Aug 24: Even as the funeral of veteran politician and former Chief Minister Rishang Keishing was scheduled to be held tomorrow at his birthplace, Bungpa Khunou in Kamjong district, the body was laid to rest at his Mantripukhri residence today with full State honour.
Sources said that the planned last rites of Rishang Keishing at his birth place was aborted after NSCN-IM issued restriction on the movement of former MLA Victor Keishing, son of Ri-shang Keishing, to Bungpa Khunou. The funeral was held at his Mantripukhri’s residence today due to the threat on the late leader’s son.
However, when queried whether there was any threat from the NSCN-IM or not, Chief Minister N Biren, who returned from Bengaluru trip today to attend the funeral, said he was in dark on the matter.
It is very unfortunate if the ‘threat’ report is true, the CM said.
Meanwhile, Victor Keishing said the last word uttered by his father was “Oh Manipur!” This may be construed that people of Manipur irrespective of ones’ affiliation or communities should coexist peacefully.
Victor Keishing said that Manipur should be made a land of peace, progress and development not only through rhetoric but in practice. To realise such a progressive and peaceful Manipur, people of all walks including underground, overground and public should sit together and shift focus to peace and development.
The body of Rishang Keishing was taken from MBC Centre Church to his residence at Mantripukhri at around 2.30 pm.
A DIPR press release adds:
Chief Minister N Biren Singh led hundreds of people in paying tributes to former Chief Minister and Parliamentarian Rishang Keishing, who was laid to rest with full State honours today.
Last rites of the late leader were performed at his residential complex at Mantripukhri in Imphal East district. Among others, Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar, Ministers, MLAs, top civil and police officers and a large number of people and well-wishers also took take part in paying last respect to the late Parliamentarian.
An IRB contingent offered guard of honour and paid gun salute in honour of the former Chief Minister. The gathering also observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
Giving a brief speech prior to the funeral service there, Chief Minister N Biren said that during his last meeting with the veteran politician in RIMS Hospital a few weeks back, Rishang Keishing expressed profound satisfaction to him for his efforts towards restoring the hill-valley rapport under the slogan, ‘Go to the Hills’.
The Chief Minister remembered the late leader as a cool, gentle and bright leader, who put in relentless efforts to sustain unity and integrity of the State.
Stating that he would never forget his last words and advice, the Chief Minister said that he would try his level best to make Rishang’s principles and wishes a reality.
He would be ever remembered as an ideal Parliamentarian and a high-principled Chief Minister forever by the country, the Chief Minister said.
N Biren said that Rishang made significant contributions to the progress of the State.
On behalf of the State Government and people of Manipur, the Chief Minister also shared grief with the bereaved family.
Source: The Sangai Express