Manipur violence: 23, including Meitei woman, put to rest in Kangpokpi district

IMPHAL | Updated: 16 December, 2023 6:28 pm IST
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IMPHAL: After seven months of Manipur being hit with ethnic strife, the hill district of Kangpokpi witnessed a 12-hour total shutdown during the mass burial of Kuki-Zo dead bodies.

The Kuki community also witnessed the hoisting of a black flag to mourn the deaths of the recently released cadavers from the mortuaries. On Saturday, 23 dead bodies, alongside four people missing in action, were given an honourable burial at the Martyrs Cemetry in Phaijang village.

Among the dead bodies was the body of seven-year-old Tonsing Hangshing and his mother Meena. Both of them were burnt alive inside an ambulance, alongside a Meitei woman, Lydia Lourembam.

Altogether, 58 people from the Kuki-Zo community have died in the ongoing strife. Of the people who have died, 22 were buried earlier, while 13 of them were transferred to Churachandpur and 19 were flown home on Friday.

Among the twenty-three dead bodies including the four untraceable dead bodies buried today, include the dead bodies of a 7-year-old Tonsing Hangshing and his mother Meena Hangshing who were burnt alive inside an ambulance.

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Joshua Hangshing, father of Tonsing and husband of Meena said, “Till I received the dead bodies of my son and wife, I could not have a normal life thinking that they would come back home anytime from somewhere”.

“The day I came to know that their dead bodies will be flown home, I could not sleep the whole night longing to meet them, though, they would not be able to talk to me like before”, he added.

He also added that he was now relieved to notice that they had received such a “decent and honourable burial”.

The dead body of a Meitei woman, Lydia Lourembam, wife of Lourembam Inaoton, who was burnt alive along with Tonsing Hangshing and Meena Hangshing was also among the dead bodies buried today.

Lourembam said that he was leading a miserable life till he received his wife’s dead bodies. He said, “It’s very difficult to explain how my life was before her lifeless body reached me, but, now, I am fine as she got a decent and honourable burial today.”

The mass burial ceremony was held under the theme, “You Sacrifice Your Today For Our Tomorrow” conducted under the aegis of the Committee on Tribal Unity Sadar Hills. It witnessed the participation of over 10,000 people.

Presently, all business establishments, schools and institutions, apart from vehicular movement have come to an absolute standstill on Saturday, during the 12-hour shutdown.

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