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Manipur Press fraternity bereaved, loses another senior journalist to COVID-19

Late Thotshang Shaiza

Thotshang Shaiza, senior journalist of The Aja Daily passed away on Saturday night at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal. Condolences pour in

TFM Desk

COVID-19 claimed one more journalist in Manipur. Thotshang Shaiza, senior journalist of The Aja Daily passed away on Saturday night at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal. He was 52.

He succumbed to Covid-19 complications as he developed severe lung infection. He was referred out to JNIMS from Ukhrul District Hospital on June 10 after his condition worsened. Shaiza was found COVID-19 positive on June 4. He is survived by his wife along with three daughters and two sons.

Many took to social media platforms to condole the demise. Several journalists’ bodies of the state, chief minister N Biren Singh and IPR minister Th Biswajit also mourned his death.

Thotshang Shaiza is the third journalist to have succumbed to Covid-19 in 15 days. Earlier the coronavirus claimed lives of former president of All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union Sagolshem Hemanta on May 30 and Saikhom Shantikumar Singh, a sub-editor of Ireibak, on June 6.

In its condolence message, the Ukhrul District Working Journalists’ Association (UDWJA) said on Sunday it is deeply saddened by the sudden and untimely demise of its advisor, former president and senior journalist Thotshang Shaiza, who passed away at ICU of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS), Imphal late Saturday around 10:40 pm.

Thotshang Shaiza joined journalism in 2009 and had served Ukhrul district’s press fraternity in varied capacities as its president for consecutive two terms, as district correspondent for ISTV. He was UDWJA advisor and a district correspondent for The Aja Daily till he breathed his last, the message added.

“As we bade tearful adieu to our respected and fellow comrade, the UDWJA members would like to salute the dear departed for upholding and protecting ‘freedom of expression and true spirit of journalism’ as he reached the unreached sections of the populace disseminating the message of truth during his time as a journalist”.

Shaiza will be remembered as a source of knowledge and experience in the district’s journalism fraternity. He was a source of strength for the association. He was an outspoken and fun loving gentleman. His absence would be profoundly missed in our midst. The void left by him would be irreparable, it added.

The message further stated that Shaiza’s demise is a big loss for the Ukhrul media fraternity. Words wouldn’t be sufficient to say that the Tangkhul community has lost a brave son of the soil, a veteran journalist in him. Though he has come and gone, the legacy left by him will remain forever in our hearts.

Shaiza held the association’s helm of affairs as president for two consecutive terms from 2015-18 and 2018-21. Recently he was appointed as UDWJA advisor.

“Our profound condolences go out to the bereaved family members as we join in prayer for the soul of our dear departed comrade to find an eternal rest beside the Almighty God. We also pray for God’s strength and solace to the bereaved family during this difficult time,” it added.

The Manipur Hill Journalists’ Union, of which Thotshang Shaiza was a member, also expressed deepest sorrow and grief to the bereaved family and prayed that God Almighty will give strength to bear this great loss. It is indeed a great loss for the family in particular and the journalist union in general, a message stated.

Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh also condoled the demise of the senior journalist.

Born on 17th March, 1969 at Viewland Bazaar (Ukhrul), Thotshang Shaiza was associated with voluntary responsibilities in many organisations during his short life, the chief minister said in a message.

Thotshang Shaiza was also the president of Tangkhul Leisak Long and Tangkhul Film Association and also a member of Ukhrul District Sports Association, besides being the deacon of Phungyo Baptist Church.

“In his demise, we, and in particular the media fraternity, have lost a multi-faceted personality who had dedicated his life in the service of society. I offer my sincere condolences to the bereaved family and share their grief. May his soul rest in peace,” the message added.

IPR minister Biswajit also condoled the demise of the senior journalist. In a message, Biswajit shared the grief and sorrow of the bereaved family and prayed for an eternal peace for the departed soul.

“During his lifetime Thotshang Shaiza played a significant role in transmission of local news to the general public and extended solidarity and initiatives taken up by Manipur Hills Journalists Union. His untimely demise is an irreparable loss of the journalistic fraternity and has left a huge void which will be hard to fill up,” it added. 

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