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Row over Sanaton’s death: Protest intensified as 24-hour shutdown begins by burning tyres on roads


Student bodies, CSOs, Meira Paibi groups, local clubs extend support to shutdown call. Health services, press/media, power supply, water supply, religious functions, Manipur Fire Service, and other essential services will be relaxed during the total shutdown.

TFM Report

The 24-hour total shutdown called by Justice For Sanaton Athokpam (JFSA) has begun from 6 pm on Monday, despite the night curfew imposed by the state government from 7 pm to 5 am, in view of the surging number of new COVID-19 cases in the state. JFSA is demanding justice for the death of Sanaton Athokpam, a medical student of RIMS, who was allegedly found dead in his hostel room.

The road stretch from Tellipati to Khurai Lamlong Keithel was blocked by bandh volunteers by burning old tyres. According to a volunteer, at around 7 pm the police came with sirens and urged people to go inside their home, as the night curfew had begun, using the PA system.

The police did not mention anything about the total shutdown, he added. No untoward incidents have been reported at the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, CSOs, local clubs, Meira Paibi groups, student bodies continue to endorse the total shutdown. 

Putting its weight behind the statewide total shutdown, six major student bodies — All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Apunba Ireibakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup (AIMS), Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF), and Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) announced their support.

A joint press conference was held at the AIMS office at Kwakeithel. AIMS president Saikhom Premchand stated that it is very unfortunate that the state government has not been able to find out the truth and facts about the death of a student. The government should reveal the truth at the earliest, he added.

AMSU vice-president Laishram Athouba stated that Sanaton was allegedly found hanging in his hostel room on March 15 in a suspicious manner. Instead of sealing the room immediately, it was done after some days. He was also found hanging with his hands tied behind his back, Athouba said and expressed dismay that the death has trying to be ruled as a suicide. 

On the other hand, the All Manipur Tammi-Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup (Tammi-Chingmi), All Manipur Nupi Marup, Advance Women Society, Citizen’s Club, and Nongpok Leimarol Meira Paibee Apunba Lup (Nonglampal) have also endorsed the total shutdown.

JFSA had stated that it had been constrained to adopt several resolutions due to the indifferent attitude of the authorities towards solving the crime. They are:

1. Though a written application for registration of FIR was submitted on the same day Sanaton Athokpam was found dead with his hands tied behind his back at Casualty Ward of RIMS, it is not yet done. FIR should be registered immediately without further delay.

2. Hostel warden of Sanaton should be subjected to interrogation for leads into the murder.

3. RIMS director and dean (Academics) should be suspended immediately for dereliction of duty and for ensuring fair investigation.

4. The magisterial enquiry has long crossed its allotted time. Its reports and relevant documents should be provided to the family and JFSA immediately.

5. All culprits involved in the murder of Sanaton Athokpam should be apprehended immediately.

JFSA had warned that if these demands are not met, a statewide total shutdown for 24 hours will be enforced from 6:00 pm of April 26 to 6:00 pm of April 27, 2021.

It had also urged all the student organisations, CSOs and people across the hill and valley of the state to make this protest a success and also requested support and participation in all future agitational programs to ensure safety of our children in their own hostel rooms.

Health services, press/media, power supply, water supply, religious functions, Manipur Fire Service, and other essential services have been relaxed during the total shutdown.

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