Senapati: Different Naga Civil Society Organizations paid rich tribute to (Late) Dikho Loshuo and (Late) Neli Chakho who were martyred 12 years ago, on May 6, 2010 at Mao Gate.
It may be recalled that the public held a silent protest rally at Mao Gate on this day after the government of Manipur denied entry of Th. Muivah, General Secretary of the NSCN-IM into his home town. The protest quickly escalated to Police firing when the government of Manipur declared Martial Law and sent its commando and IRB personnel to occupy the town. In the firing incident, two young students, Dikho Loshuo, a B.A. 2nd year student of St. Joseph College, Jakhama and Neli Chakho, a B.A. 2nd year student of St. Joseph Evening College, Bangalore, both hailing from Mao Kalinamei village were brutally killed by the Manipur Commando and IRB personnel, injuring many, including men, women and children.
In his keynote, Dr. Saheni Loli, president, Mao Council regretted the loss of two young promising students when the people at Mao Gate were demonstrating before the world to express their rights. The Mao Council leader expressed condolences to the bereaved families.
S. Milan, general secretary, United Naga Council (UNC) stated that on May 6, 2010, it rained in Mao but it was not a natural rain. Bullets and tear gas shells rained down in Mao Gate and its adjoining areas who called it a “horrible day” in people’s memory. In the midst of such situation, the two brave heroes came out courageously in order to defend Naga cause and rights of the people demonstrating, “This is our land, Nobody should control over our land,” and offered supreme sacrifice.
Vice president of Naga Hoho stated the two heroes gave up their lives while defending the inherent rights in the just cause of the Nagas. People on this day remembers them fondly on “Martyr’s Day” ushering Unity is Strength among the Nagas. The vice president also enlightened the people in pursuing one’s identity and rights more vigorously.
In her solidarity message, Sani Sarah, vice president, Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) stated that the sacrifice of the duo made the outside people to learn about the Mao tribe and its people through the Mao Gate episode. The sacrifice gives hope to the students to put more labour to become better in their endeavours.
The Women leader prayed that the incident would pave way for better tomorrow, to be an eye opener in bringing peace in the region. Let people of the region bring unity to where there could not be in the past and let Mao produce much more patriots to inspire other people. Although 12 years have past, the incident remains fresh in the memory of the Nagas, she said.
Sani Sarah asked the people not to be disheartened but to move forward with hope. While she asked parents to give proper guidance to their children, and leaders to pray for better days in the future, she prayed peace, unity and prosperity reign in the land.
Asha Wungnam, President, Naga Women’s Union (NWU) questioned the gathering if people need only observation where such incidents occur many times in the region and challenged that this is the time to take right decision at the right time to protect the identity and its history of the Nagas. Nobody has the right to take away the history and that which belonged to the people. Asha urged all to stand together and fight together with unity without which, the Nagas cannot move forward.
Pung Mark, president, Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) lamented Mao Gate incident. The incident serve as a brutal reminder of social injustice and denial of people’s rights, he said. The student leader exhorted the Nagas to stand together to reclaim its vision and move ahead with one unified voice and goal. He also urged all to remain united against the elements trying to divide the Nagas. Pung Mark while paying his tribute stated that the supreme sacrifices won’t go in vain. “They will continue to remain in the hearts of the people although they are gone,” he remarked.
Brilliantson Kashung, assembly speaker, NSF stated that although people had fought lots of fights, but as long as social societal antagonism prevails, in its commitment of the people cannot be put to rest adding one must endeavor to protect and preserve all that people have in its culture and in the land while also sparing no efforts to eliminate those elements and practices which are against the social and economic progress of the people.
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Thiirtung Wanglar, President, ANSAM on behalf of the office saluted and honoured the martyrs and stated the two giving up their lives was not the end of something but called just the beginning. It is the cost not the death that marks the martyrs adding they don’t die but continue to live in the hearts of the people. “Martyrdom is the price one pay to ensure freedom for coming generation”, Thiirthung Wanglar added.
Sounii Khapa, secretary, information & publicity, NPO stated that the people were gathered to pay their deepest respect, homage, tribute and honour to the two brave souls. The NPO leader called upon all to rise up and rededicate and reaffirm commitment for the Naga issue till the last drop of blood is shed. “Nagas are one and will be one. We fight for historical rights and identity which cannot be compromised as long as Naga exist,” he asserted.
R.N. Hannah, president, SDWA called May 6, 2010 a shocking and unforgettable day in the history of the Nagas. While paying homage to the two departed souls, the women leader also saluted to all who were also injured during the incident and to all who fought with sacrificing spirit for the cause of Nagas.
Dr. Rosemary Dziivichu, Advisor, NMA as the anniversary speaker lamented that the Manipuri commandos denied the entry of Indian Red Cross volunteers to cross the border with medicines and relief materials. No matter how the women leaders approached, no matter how much they rang up to authorities in Imphal through friends, CSOs, journalists, etc. Such incidents made to think what man made borders do to the Nagas although people are called “One people and people inhabit a common homeland.” Yet, people were stopped by a government, the government who recklessly kill and injured hundreds including women and children.
The NMA advisor prayed that the sufferings the Mao people and its adjoining areas had endured during the incident to not let anyone suffer again. Dr. Rosemary also called upon all Nagas to live as one and as brothers across borders while calling to fight for justice, for the injured, for the displaced, justice for the two deaths adding peace will only come when people have justice. Real peace, sustainable peace will come only when people find peace with justice including justice for all the deaths, military atrocities with so many stories in Naga homeland with many heroes in every incident who need to be honoured. NMA advisor called upon all to stand up together and demand for justice where she hopes to see true justice for incident at Mao and the sufferings that people had gone through.