Manipur observes Patriots’ Day
Pothashang News Service: Imphal, August 13: Manipur today observed Patriots’ Day paying homage to the patriots who sacrificed their lives in the Anglo-Manipur War, 1981. The day is observed every year on this day the British hanged Bir Tikendrajit and General Thangal at the site of the Bir Tikendrajit Park.
Three other freedom fighters, Kajao, Niranjan Subedar and Chirai Naga, were also hanged to death on different dates at the then Central Jail here.
The main function was held at Bir Tikendrajit Park, where Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal General were hung to death publicly on this day in the year 1891. Governor of Manipur, Dr. Najma Heptulla and chief minister N. Biren Singh attended the observation.
The function began with wreath laying ceremony at the Saheed Minar where Najma led the floral tributes to the martyrs. A contingent of Manipur Rifles offered guard of honour and general salute and observed two minutes silence as a mark of respect to those martyrs.
Prior to the function, Najma and Biren led others in laying wreaths to the martyrs in front of Kangla Uttra.
Najma said, we should never forget the selfless sacrifice of the freedom fighters of Manipur who fiercely fought the mighty British Empire. She appealed to all the communities to shun violence and hatred among themselves and bring about an atmosphere of love and mutual understanding so that Manipur can move forward in the pace of development.
Governor said that the culture of bandhs and blockades is a thing of serious concern. The ultimate sufferers of all these aberrations are the common people. We must try to resolve all issues through dialogue, she added. As a citizen of this country, it is our bounden duty to make the country strong and prosperous.
Najma said, “We were never taught about the freedom fighters of Manipur in our history textbooks. The rest of the country doesn’t even know their names, she added. She said she would urge the HRD ministry to re-edit the history text books so that the freedom struggle of the people of Manipur would be known across the world.
Biren said the government will stand for the people, unity and territorial integrity of the state at any cost. Mentioning about the present unrest of the Manipur University, he said that the officials from the HRD ministry would be arriving here in Imphal shortly and believe that the issue would be solved in next 3-4 days.
The present government has successfully minimized the hill-valley division in the state, he added.
Stating that one of the objectives of the government is to root out the culture of bandh and blockade he said the government would try its best to make bandh and blockade free state.
Biren along with his council of minister, MLAs and top civil and police officials offered floral tributes at Hicham Yaichampat, Moirangkhom, where Bir Tikendrajit was cremated and it was also observed at Thangal General temple complex, Palace compound and offered floral tributes to the portrait of Thangal General.
The chief minister at the observance of the patriots’day at BJP Manipur Pradesh office here said that his government stands firm to protect the integrity of Manipur. He said no forces can break the integrity of Manipur. BJP led government is committed to maintain the integrity of the hills and valley people. People both from the hills and valley together fought against the mighty British for Manipur freedom, he added.
On the observation at Congress Bhavan former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh said, “We are the descendants of those patriots who lay down their lives happily for Manipur. We must protect the integrity of Manipur.”
Ibobi said every community, be it Naga, Kuki, Meitei or Meitei Pangal has its own unique history. Any outcome of Naga peace talk that would affect the territorial boundary of Manipur will not be accepted. Congress stands firm to protect the integrity of Manipur.”
M. Tombi, president of Shiv Sena Manipur unit on the observance at its office said, Article 371 (A) is for Nagaland and it should not be extended in Manipur.