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DAMMS demands independent SIT for 1993 communal clash


Monday marked the 28th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in the history of Manipuri in general and Manipur Muslims (Pangals) in particular.

TFM Desk

On the 28th anniversary of the 1993 communal clash in Manipur, Delhi Association of Manipur Muslim Students (DAMMS) demanded the government to constitute an independent Special Investigation Team (SIT) and also to ensure that all the perpetrators are made public with their deserved punishment. 

DAMMS also demanded that the State should give actual compensation to the bereaved family members and all those destitute brought about by the incident.

DAMMS in a release on Monday said that the same age old demands were brought up with the hope that one day our voice will also be heard if not now. 

DAMMS also appealed to all the progressive minds and organisations to join hands in fighting the injustice brought about by subjugation and oppression of any kind and ensuring ourselves that history of the same kind does not repeat anywhere and anytime in the future.

Monday marks the 28th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in the history of Manipuri in general and Manipur Muslims (Pangals) in particular. The day is observed annually as the darkest day in the history of Pangals. On this day i.e. on May 3 and May 4, 1993, more than 100 Pangals were killed in the communal clash. Victims of that heinous genocidal act included children, pregnant women and many helpless laborers, the release stated. 

In the aftermath, in addition to the fear and ravages felt by bereaved family members, Pangals, at large, have had discernible psychological trauma with feelings of distrust, insecurity and helplessness. Many started fleeing from their villages as they no longer felt secured staying there. Many were turned into destitute in their own homeland, DAMMS said.

The release further stated that many changed their livelihood in the hope they would be secured in their economic, social and cultural life. What is more disheartening regarding the incident was evidences of police personnel being involved in abetting the situation despite which not a single FIR had been lodged and even as of now, 28 years later, not a single gesture of apology and remorse being shown to Pangals either from the state or the majority community, it added. 

Stating that this state of hysteria still perpetuates, DAMMS said that Pangals are subjected to many stereotypical labels like — pangals are parsimonious, they tend to produce more offspring’s, they are thieves, drug peddlers, they hide Rohingyas among them, etc. and committing in successive lynching’s of Pangals. 

The student body based in Delhi contended that these prejudices and stereotypes are well used by the media and the Meitei intelligentsia to help project Pangals as a degraded community who aren’t fit to be on equal status with them. This is the highest form of manufacturing hatred which is, no doubt, the first step of any genocide wherever recorded, DAMMS asserted. 

The release further stated that incidents like the killing of Md Farooque Ahmed at Tharoijam by a mob were a clear manifestation of the structurally engineered hatred brought about by the stereotypical mindset which the student body said has been projecting Pangals as the degraded netizens of state. 

Similarly, in the killing of SM Manjur inside the police custody, it was also shown that Pangals, being a degraded community, can be used as a scapegoat in concealing state incompatibility and incompetency. Not only these, there were many incidents which have not been properly addressed, it added. 

DAMMS contended that the occurrences of these incidents, occasionally or not, put a fear in the minds of Pangals that history might be repeated any time, and this fear and anxiety will always be the stumbling block in unity and integrity of the state.  

“The slogans of – “unity and integrity” or “ching tam ema amatagi machani” that we often hear of would have no meaning if we do not have the emotional tie up bonds first. Needless to say, if the majority community continue to fail to retrospect and sort out what possibly could have gone wrong and try to affix the schisms with a gesture as simple as saying “sorry” or showing some remorse, then all their slogans or progressive sayings are no less than a facade, hollow sayings or slogans. Unity would only be brought about with respect and tolerance. However, relating to the contextual realities, unity and integrity which they pretend to be dreaming, has been far from its actuality.”

As the holy month of Ramadan is with us, we would like to appeal to everyone to remember the names of the victims of the horrific incident in their prayers, DAMMS appealed.

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