Stage set for tribute to anti-AFSPA crusader

IMPHAL,14th Aug: Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) president Ngariyanbam Milan has informed that the 14th Death Anniversary of Pebam Chittaranjan Mangang, who immolated himself in pursuance of the public demand for repealing of draconian law and ensuring right to life, would be observed on August 16 under the theme of “Excel Right to Life”.

Addressing media persons at AMUCO office Tuesday, Milan said that on August 16 around 7am, a statue of Chittaranjan would be unveiled at the site of his immolation at Bishnupur, honouring his bravery. Later, at 10 pm, floral tributes will be paid at his birthplace at Sega Road Takhellambam Leikai, the president added.

Afterwards, a public rally will be taken out from Sega Road Takhellambam Leikai till Tiddim Ground wherein a public meeting and a blood donation camp will be conducted. During the meeting, a unified resolution will be taken up against prolonged imposition of draconian laws like AFSPA in Manipur.

In the evening, MSF volunteers will take out a torch rally from Sega Road Takhellambam Leikai till Keishampat Junction, he further informed. Pointing out that India has refused to repeal AFSPA 1958, a draconian act that has no place in today’s world, from Manipur even after 70 years of its (India) independence, Milan said that this Act has violated the right to life of the people. It has caused rape of many women and children of the state, deaths of civilians while leaving many with permanent disabilities, he stated.

With the firm resolution that, “It is better to be dead than to live as a living corpse”, to demand scrapping of the Act, Chittaranjan self-immolated on August 15, 2004 and breathed his last the following day. He sacrificed himself to become the human torch so that the Act would be repealed and the people would be able to live their lives without fear, Milan conveyed. Recalling that Chitaranjan Mangang was Bishnupur District Committee advisor of MSF, AMSU and DESAM, Milan appealed to the people to attend the memorial service on August 16. He further appealed to all concerned to not create any disturbance on the day and help ensure the observance is conducted peacefully.

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