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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Women of tribal organisations attend solidarity prayer for strife-torn Manipur

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HT Bureau
GUWAHATI, Aug 13: Women representatives from eight apex
tribal organisations of Nagaland comprising of Ao, Angami,
Chakhesang, Lotha, Pochury, Rengma, Sumi and Zeliang,
organised a solidarity prayer for the ethnic clashes and violence
against women in strife-torn Manipur at PHQ junction.
Angami Women Organisation (AWO), Chakhesang Mothers
Association (CMA), Lotha Eloe Ekhung (LEE), Pochury Mothers
Association (PMA), Rengma Mothers Association (RMA), Sumi
Totimi Hoho (STH), Watsu Telen (WT), Zeliang Mpui
Organisation (ZMO) and Central Nagaland Women Association
(CNWA), Angami Public Organisation took part on the occasion.
Leading the solidarity messages and call to shun violence, APO
vice president, Neivor Rutsa, maintained that since the
situation in Manipur was man-made, it could also be brought
under control and stopped eventually.

He reiterated that atrocity or violence in any form especially
against women and children cannot be justified and therefore,
deemed that it has to be stopped at the earliest.
Rutsa said besides loss of precious lives, the unrest was also
hampering the career and education of the children.
“The neighbouring state Manipur has been burning for more
than hundred days now. We are deeply concerned and our
hearts weep especially for the womenfolk,” AWO president
Neilhuzono Nagi said. The AWO president also asserted that
atrocities against women or any human being would not bring
solution to any problem. She appealed to the people of
Manipur to stop the violence and let good sense prevail. CMA
president, Zhonelü Tunyi, said the mothers were gathered to
express solidarity with the people of Manipur who were going
through untold hardships.
She pointed out that women were made to bear the brunt of
the violence ever since it broke out more than three months
back.
Tunyi said that abuse and insult perpetrated on womenfolk
cannot be tolerated anymore.
“Mothers and daughters have become targets after the unrest
broke out because of land issues. This is a very big disgrace and
should be stopped immediately,” she said.

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LEE president, Renboni Ezung, expressed solidarity with the
people of Manipur and said the mothers were voicing out
against the violence. She said that unrest in the neighbouring
state cannot be looked at in isolation. Ezung said that Manipur
as one of the sister states in the Northeast was considered as
family and that Nagas feel the pain, shame and unspoken anger
against the unrest.
She called upon the leaders at both the Centre and Manipur to
listen to the voice of the people and restore peace.
Speaking on behalf of PMA, Atono Nyuthe, said the ethnic clash
in Manipur was not just a local, tribal or racial issue, but one
that was universal in nature.
Describing the situation as “a humanitarian crisis”, Nyuthe said
that people needed to come together now more than ever.
“It is an absolute tragedy that two of our womenfolk were
being used as pawns in a political game and their precious lives
were thrown away so easily under the most terrible
circumstances,” she said.
RMA president Sojule Tep appealed to the people of Manipur
to stop the “madness”, lay down their arms and embrace
dialogue.
She also appealed to the people to respect each other’s rights
and dignity, uphold the values of democracy, secularism and

remember that human beings were created by God in His
image.
Tep also appealed to the people government in Manipur and
Centre to intervene and urgently address the root cause of the
conflict.
Speaking on behalf of STH, Piholi Swunetho, expressed pain and
shock at the ghastly act carried out against two women in
Manipur in a widely circulated video.
She added that it was more unsettling that the viral video was
not an isolated event and that there were reports of other
brutal act of atrocities meted out against women that went
unreported or the victims silenced with dire consequences.
While condemning devious crimes, she reminded perpetrators
that they were once also nurtured and looked after by mothers
and sisters. “It may seem foolish, inconceivable and a pathetic
attempt to seal a festering wound to talk about healing at this
juncture, however, we pray to our sovereign Lord to sweep
over and grant healing to the wounded hearts and souls in
Manipur,” Swunetho said.
Speaking on behalf of Watsü Telen Mungdang, Aotula said
protection and preservation of women and children was
intrinsic to the moral core of human beings and absolute
among virtues.

Condemning the violence inflicted on womenfolk in Manipur,
she said the Naga mothers were gathered to express their
solidarity and sympathy with those who had suffered physical
and mental torture. She said outraging the modesty of women
was the most humiliating, painful and detestable thing possible.
While expressing sympathy and solidarity with those afflicted
by the unrest, Aotula called upon all the responsible citizens to
be building blocks for dialogue.
Speaking on behalf of ZMO, Dr. Zaiwang, said Nagas must not
remain mute spectators to the atrocities and social injustices
being witnessed in neighbouring Manipur.
She said coming together to express solidarity to the victims
was an indication of conviction and belief. Although Nagas
could not do much physically, she said they could pray for the
those affected by the turmoil and be source of solace and
comfort.
She expressed hope that humanity would triumph over the
atrocities, while peace and hope would return to the land.
CNWA president, Atoli Sema, said womenfolk were created to
bring humanity into the world, but they were being mistreated
and disgraced to a great extent in Manipur.
She strongly suggested that the constitution of India should be
rewritten and death penalty should be awarded to rapists.

“Women are made beautiful so that they would be loved. But
men are destroying the very body which birthed and nurtured
them. How many more of such cases shall we tolerate? We will
not stop now until justice is delivered. All women in the
Northeast should rise up against these atrocities against
women,” Sema said.
Women participants took part in the prayer holding placards
some of which read “stop brutal acts against women”, “stand
up for women rights”, “we condemn killing of people, burning
of houses and churches in Manipur”, “we want peace in
Manipur” etc.
The mass solidarity prayer for victims and their families and for
restoration of peace was led by Baptist Pastors Fellowship
Kohima, president, Rev Vezopa Rhakho.
Earlier, the programme was chaired by CNWA joint secretary,
Kanili Kinilimi, invocation was given by Rengma Baptist Church
Kohima, pastor, Jonathan Mesen while Angamis Students Union
(ASU) provided volunteers for the event.

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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