As many as 16 CSOs including AMKIL, EECHAL, ANUL, NIMPAL, UPF, NIPCO, CADA, AMSU, UPACO, AMPFA, Nupi Samaj, Tammi Chingmi, Thoubal Ima, Nongpok Leingak, UMO and Mapi Council, and six major student bodies — AIMS, AMSU, DESAM, MSF, KSA, and SUK — protested against the killing of Athuan Abonmai and demanded justice.
Major CSOs and student bodies of Manipur protested on Wednesday demanding justice for Athuan Abonmai, the former president and advisor of Zeliangrong Baudi (AMN), who was abducted and brutally killed later by suspected NSCN (I-M) cadres on September 22, at Tamenglong Headquarter.
As many as 15 CSOs including AMKIL, EECHAL, ANUL, NIMPAL, UPF, NIPCO, CADA, AMSU, UPACO, AMPFA, Nupi Samaj, Tammi Chingmi, Thoubal Ima, Nongpok Leingak, UMO and Mapi Council, staged a sit-in at Keishampat Leimajam Leikai in collaboration with the joint action committee formed against the brutal killing of Athuan Abonmai.
Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) gi president in-charge Lourembam Nganbi raised suspicion whether Athuan Abonmai was killed by the suspected cadres of NSCN (I-M) in collusion with the Government of India and the state government. The visibly infuriated veteran activist slammed the authorities for not being able to apprehend the culprits involved and also for letting Athuan Abonmai whisked away by the kidnappers right under the nose of the large number security forces stationed there for the state government’s ‘Go to Hills 2.0’ programme.
Lourembam Nganbi also recalled Athuan Abonmai as a vocal leader who dreamt of peaceful coexistence of different communities in the state. We should not take lightly the fact that the culprits involved have not been apprehended till date, she asserted.
Underscoring the demand of the people to nab the culprits at the earliest, Lourembam Nganbi alleged that the state government is trying to douse the pressure of the people demanding justice in the case, by arresting two individuals from Imphal area.
It is very confusing that instead of going after and apprehending the real culprits involved in the incident at Tamenglong, two individuals who are reportedly supporters of NSCN (I-M) were picked up. This would not be enough to suppress the cry for justice of the people, she said.
Lourembam Nganbi further said that Athuan Abonmai often expressed his sharp views on various matters including NSCN (I-M) who is in peace talks with the Government of India and the contentious ADC Bill, 2021. The abduction and brutal killing of such a leader in broad daylight under the nose of security forces raised several questions, she said. The culprits should be apprehended at the earliest, failing which the people of the state will launch more intense agitations, she warned.
“Those who speak truth and stand for the land are going to be killed then they have to kill the mothers of the land. Even though Athuan Abonmai is gone, the mothers will stand for more like him,” she asserted.
On the other hand, six major student bodies — AIMS, AMSU, DESAM, MSF, KSA, and SUK — protested against the killing of Athuan Abonmai and demanded justice. The student activists held placards and stood along the roadside at Kwakeithel Bazar, Imphal.