Imphal: A large number of students took part in a massive rally carried out on the streets in Imphal, commemorating the 57th anniversary of the students’ historic agitation against the “artificial food scarcity” in the state.
On this day in 1965, four students were slain after security forces opened fire towards students who were agitating against “artificial food scarcity” allegedly created by over export of rice of the state outside the state.
All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) which was founded as the fall out of the historic event has been observing the day as “Hunger Marchers’ Day” every year to remember the “sacrifice” made by the three students-Nabakumar, Chaobhal and Pramodini Devi and a driver of the AIR, Imphal identified as Nilamani.
Hundreds of students from various schools and colleges converged in Imphal’s Pishum Chinga today to pay floral tributes to the memorial of the three students there. The formal observance function began with the hoisting of the flag of the students’ body by its president Haobijam Challamba Meitei at the student martyrs’ complex in Imphal’s Pishum Chingamakha. From there, the students took out a rally on the streets in Imphal and converged at DM College campus ground where a public meeting was held.
As a precautionary measure to check any untoward incident during the rally, a large number of policemen were deployed along the streets during the rally.
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Talking on the sideline of the function, AMSU president Haobijam Challamba recalled the historic 1965 uprising of the students and said that students who took part in the protest were brutally charged and inhumanly assaulted by the security forces that day.
He also said Manipur was self-sufficient in food production. Before 1965, Manipur had produced enough food grains to feed its entire population.
However, the state became dependent on others for food since the merger with the Indian Union and the state has to import additional food from outside the state to feed its population. He also said that there is no sign of improving the food grain production in the state.