Ukhrul: Manipur ex-Youth Affairs and Sports minister Aza A Shimray was laid to rest at his native Chingjaroi CV on Tuesday afternoon. The village wore a gloomy look as it mourned the loss of its dear departed lone father-figure in their midst.
The 81-year-old, late Aza A Shimray son of late Kasho complaint of breathless on Sunday. Swiftly acting on the complaint, he was rushed to Ukhrul from his native village Chingjaroi CV for necessary medical aid. He, however, succumbed to his illness at around 10:55 am. Late Aza was at his native village for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
His mortal remains arrived at his birth place on Monday from Ukhrul headquarters after a condolence service at his Wino residence in Ukhrul.
Aza Shimray was elected as 45-Chingai assembly constituency MLA in 2002 from Indian National Congress ticket. He is survived by his wife, four daughters, grandsons and granddaughters.
Following reports of his untimely demise, people of Chingai assembly constituency, friends, well wishers and wino locales rushed to his Wino residence and joined the grief stricken family and shared the pain with the family.
The condolence service was attended by neighbouring villages including Peh, Marem Chingjaroi Khullen, Ngachaphung Village Authorities, Chairmen, friends and well wishers.
Speaking at his last condolence service at Chingjaroi CV, Kachipui A Shimray wife of late Aza Shimray said: “I can’t believe that my husband is no more. But God had better plans for him and he works in mysterious way.”
She then appealed the church, villagers and well wishers to remember her family in their prayers as they mourned his loss.
Statements made by scores of people who spoke at late Aza’s condolence service held on Tuesday urged Chingjaroi village to strengthen and continue to maintain unity among them. They echoed similar tribute at Aza Shimray’s demise saying, it was a big loss for the people of Chingai assembly constituency and not just for Chingjaroi. Aza’s village had produced two ministers namely, late Somi A Shimray and Aza A Shimray. His simplicity, personal hygiene and sense of humour is undisputable and would be dearly missed, they stressed.
Aza’s demise stands testament that he lived his life well and that he was a good man as the symbolic funeral today shows, narrated a teacher and family member of late Aza who closely worked with him as his assistant for more than 25 years. “The most beautiful person in this world is the one who makes other happy. My close associate and headmaster, Aza perfectly fits in here given his unceasing personal touch in bringing joy and happiness in the company of his peers and in public life through his anecdotes and his sense of humour.”
Meanwhile, Aya A Shimray, on behalf of the family, expressed profound gratitude to all the people who rendered helping hands on the untimely demise of his uncle.
He also expressed his family’s special thanks to Jessami village council, Phalee and Teinem village councils, Talui Village Authority, Wino tang, MLA Khashim Vashum, Wungpam Raikhan, retired Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, Ningam Chamroy, retired IAS; district hospital Ukhrul, CBC, youth, BYS of Chingjaroi CV and Ngachaphung, among others, for their selfless help and support.
“Words would not suffice to thank each and everyone of you as you stand in solidarity with my family in this difficult moment. May Almighty blessings be upon you all,” Aya added.
It may be mentioned that late Aza, ex-minister was accorded rousing reception by Raphei villages as the vehicles carrying his mortal remains headed towards his birth place.
Scores of people sent their condolence messages and shared the pain with the family with prayer.
On reaching Razai village, Village Authority of Chingjaroi received his mortal remains, escorted by the Youth of Chingjaroi in full traditional attire giving befitting salute to its son of the soil.
Prior to reaching Chingjaroi CV, a brief programme were also held at Chingjaroi Khullen and Ngachaphung.
It may be mentioned that Aza took voluntary retirement from government service and joined Indian National Congress in 2001.
Aza was elected as Congress MLA from 45-Chingai (ST) Assembly Constituency and took oath as state minister (YAS) and later elevated to Cabinet Minister.
Prior to joining politics, he served in various capacities as graduate teacher, headmaster, DEO/ZEO Ukhrul, Joint director of education (S).
He also served as chairman district level officers, Ukhrul; Secretary, All Manipur Education Directorate (s) Officers Forum, Advisor RKL and Joint Secretary, Tangkhul Students Union Imphal, among others.
Expressing his deep condolences, Dr Yaronsho Ngalung, UADC chief in his message expressed his sincere and deep condolences on the sudden demise of late Aza A Shimray, former YAS Minister of Manipur. “His lost has created a huge vacuum in the society that will be difficult to fill. The last time I had a telephonic conversation with Oja (Sir) Aza was on December 30. We had exchanged Christmas greetings, and understood that we should try to meet up after New Year celebrations in our respective villages. He was calling from his village on that day. Our conversation is still fresh in my mind. Oh! What a sudden departure Oja Aza!,” Dr Yarosho.
“I wish that you are still alive with us. Oja Aza, as I knew him, was a frank and outspoken man. He was friendly with everyone. We will truly miss this person in our midst. What a sorrowful moment! Oja Aza, I can only say, may you be with the Father in heaven. May God give strength, peace and comfort at this time of sorrow to the bereaved family members and relatives. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” he added.
Aza was an alumni of Cotton College, Gauhati, Assam. After completion of BA, he went on to pursue B.T. from Gauhati University and trained in Examination Evaluation NCERT Delhi.