Imphal: Commemorating the movement of womenfolk against the atrocities committed by state and non-state actors, the 24th Meira Paibi Numit was observed in Manipur on Saturday. The main programme was held at Tharo Devi Lampak in Khurai Salanthong in Imphal East district under the aegis of the Meira Paibi Day Observation Committee. The function was marked by offering of floral tributes to the statues of Meira Paibi Imas or leader of women torch bearers (literal translation) of the state.
“The movement of the womenfolk against the atrocities committed by the state and non-state actors is not yet over. The movement will continue until the controversial Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act 1958 is completely repealed”, said Longjam Mema Devi, president of the Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (PLMPAL) on the occasion.
She recalled the incidents that led to the womenfolk’s movement against atrocities meted out by the security forces under the shadow of the AFSPA and said that the movement will continue until the act is completely repealed.
Even though it has been removed from parts of the state, the black law is being extended in major parts of the state. So, it is too early to say that the civilians are free from atrocities.
“We will continue our movement. We will always stand for the security of our children with torches in our hands,” she said. “The movement is not only against the atrocities meted out to the people by the security forces but also against the drug abuse and illicit trafficking”, she added.
Longjam Mema Devi then expressed strong concern over the increasing drug menace and said that only seizure of drugs and sending free hands to the smugglers will not be able to bring an end to the drug menaces. “Harsh punishment should be awarded to drug smugglers”, she asserted.
Speakers on the occasion observed and opined if women of both the hills and the valley could go together as one, the Manipur society would come forward and be able to fight effectively against the various atrocities committed in the state.