Imphal: Anti AFSPA crusader Pebam Chittaranjan was remembered on his 18th death anniversary on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Pebam Chittaranjan who was then advisor of the Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) sacrificed his life by indulging in self-immolation demanding the repeal of the Armed Forces Special Powers’ Act (AFSPA) from the state in 2004.
He succumbed to his injuries at RIMS hospital, Imphal where he was admitted with 85 per cent burns and died on August 16, 2004.
Like in the previous years, MSF organized a mass silent procession on the streets in Imphal with the active participation by hundreds of students from various schools and colleges.
The procession started from Pebam’s Kwakeithel in Imphal West, the birthplace of the student leader culminating at THAU Gound in Imphal where the main commemoration function was held.
Leaders of civil society organizations and human rights defenders including acting chairperson of the Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) spoke on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, MSF president Kh Bidyasagar said that the student body will continue the struggle against the controversial Act until the black law is repealed from the whole of the state, he said.
He reminded that the Act has been removed from the areas covered by the Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) during Congress rule and the BJP government in the state has removed the black law from nine more police stations in the valley areas.
However, the Act is still enforced in major parts of the hills and valleys of the state.
“What the people of the state wanted was to scrap the draconian law from the whole of the state and Pebam Chittaranjan made the supreme sacrifice for the removal of the Act from the state as a whole”, he said.
“The people of Manipur are yet to lead a meaningful life even as India celebrated its 75 years of Independence”, he added
MSF along with the people of the state will continue its movement demanding scrapping of the black law from the whole of the region, the student leader asserted.
He alleged that the black law curtailed the right to life and there is no right to live under the Act.
Earlier, students and people from various sections of the society turned up at the memorial site of the Pebam Chitaranjan in Imphal’s Kwakeithel and offered floral tributes.
District units of the MSF also remembered the anti-AFSPA crusader at their respective levels.