Funeral performed after 632 days

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Funeral ceremony of martyrs who were killed during the anti-agitation bill, 2015 in Churachandpur were performed today following an agreement brought between the government of Manipur and Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills on May 10.

Eight of the nine martyrs died in the agitation were buried at Martyrs Park, Khuga Dam after people took up a procession led by Zomi Bikers.

Funeral of one of them had already been performed earlier.

People paid tribute to the departed souls of the martyrs at the Churchandpur Public Ground.

Works minister Biswajit, social welfare minister Nemcha Kipgen, agriculture minister T. Thamkhalian and representatives of Assam Rifles were present at the funeral ceremony.

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Nine protesters were killed during the anti-bill agitation when a violent protest broke out in Churachandpur immediately after the Assembly passed three bills – Protection of Manipur Peoples Bill, Manipur Land Revenue and Land Reforms (Seventh Amendment) Bill and Manipur Shops and Establishments (Second Amendment) Bills on August 31, 2015.

Chief secretary O. Nabakishore Singh went to Churachandpur on May 10 to sign the MoU with the leaders of the action committee.

In the MoU, both sides agreed to consult all stakeholders while framing new bills that affect interests of the indigenous people, the state government will aid in the ongoing talks between the Centre, state government and Kuki militant groups, which are having suspension of operation agreement, Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the nine victims and a permanent government job for the next of kin, Rs 50,000 for the 48 injured protesters and Rs 2 lakh for eight protesters who became disabled after suffering injuries during the agitation.

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The state government agreed to provide funds for construction of a memorial park and memorial hall. It also agreed to consider a demand by the committee for creation of one more district and also investigate the police action during the 2015 agitation.

Dummy coffin shed locally known as Salpha Pumbuk of the nine Churachandpur martyrs was set into fire by miscreants early Monday morning at the wee hour.

This was the second attempt in few days to torch down the symbolic coffins after Joint Action Committee against Anti-Tribal Bills on May 10 brought an agreement with the state government to bury the eight dead bodies.

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The dead bodies of eight out of nine have been lying at the mortuary of district hospital Churchandpur.

Some section including women body of Lamka and Manipur Tribal Forum Delhi, expressed their strong unwillingness over the May 10 agreements.

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