Imphal, April 1,
Renowned journalist, Khelen Thokchom presently serving as the Special Correspondent of Telegraph daily newspaper passed away today morning. He was 58.
Family source said that, Khelen Thokchom made some complaint of chess pain at around midnight yesterday. His son and wife immediately rushed him to RIMS hospital and after treatment he succumbed to his injury at around 4.30 am today morning. He is survived by his wife Thokchom Ongi Memcha, son Thokchom Gregory and a daughter.
The mortal remain of the departed journalist was taken to Manipur Press Club here in Imphal at around 9 am after performing rituals at his residence at Tera Tongbram Leikai, Imphal West. Journalist fraternity of the state paid two minutes silence as a mark of respect at Manipur Press Club .
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, MAHUD Minister Th. Shyamkumar, members of journalist fraternity, Acting Chief Justice of Manipur N. Kotiswar Singh and many eminent personalities, MLAs and other political workers apart from CSOs representatives paid floral tribute to the mortal remains of the departed journalist at Manipur Press club.
Late Khelen Thokchom appeared at ISTV discussion hour yesterday.
Following the news of his demise social networking site Facebook is being flooded with condolence message from over 100s users.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh expressed his heartfelt pains and sorrow to the untimely demise of Khelen Thokchom, who was also his one time colleague as a journalist.
The Editors’ Guild Manipur also condoled the sudden demise of senior journalist Khelen Thokchom, Special correspondent Telegraph.
“His untimely demise gives us a great loss and vacuum that we can’t fill it easily. We the members of Editors Guild Manipur share the grieve and sorrow faced by the bereaved family members, near relatives, friends”, said A. Mobi Singh, President Editors Guild Manipur in a statement.
All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) also condoled the demise of Khelen Thokchom .
Khelen Thokchom had been associated with the AMWJU for the last many years and also served as a member of the standing committee AMWJU. He had also served as Secretary of the Manipur Press Club.
“Khelen Thokchom has been epitome of inspiration and a source of encouragement to all of us”, S. Nanda, General Secretary of AMWJU said in a statement.
Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) also condoled the demise of the senior journalist saying that his lost is a great lost for the state. The students’ body also observed a 2 minutes silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul.
Mr. Pranab Bora, Resident Editor, The Telegraph, Guwahati Bureau in his condolence message wrote – “ Khelen Thokchom wore many hats and he wore them well and in style: that of an excellent and intrepid journalist, that of a true Northeasterner, a proud Manipuri and Meitei, a wonderful flautist, proud cook (check his Facebook posts), highly regarded mentor and above all a wonderful human being.
Khelen, born on February 1, 1961 joined The Telegraph on July 1, 2003. In a state torn apart by militancy and violence, he stood tall as someone whose reports portrayed not just the mayhem but the culture of a people, their music, dance and literature.
Before joining to Telegraph, Khelen also served as the Editor of Sangai Express daily (both English and Manipuri).
Rebel group Maoist Communist Party also condoled the demise of Khelen Thokchom. In a statement the outfit said that it shares the pain of his family.
Photo gallery of (L) Khelen Thokchom’s funeral – Photo by Laishram Ranbir