Thirteen years ago, on July 15, the world woke up to some shocking images from Manipur. The immediate provocation was the brutal rape, torture, mutilation and murder of year-old Thangjam Manorama by the 17 th Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force of India. Manorama was picked up from her home in Imphal, on July 10, on the pretext of an interrogation and under the assumption of being a militant, with no incriminating evidence whatsoever. Her body was found the next day in a field four kilometres from her house.
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Manipur, Manipur, Our dear 'Eigi-Manipur' is in turmoil once again. The Flames of the People's anger over the capturing and the subsequent killing of one Th. Manorama Devi by the Assam Rifles seem to be spreading like an 'Untamed Wild Forest fire' with dharnas, rallies and sit-in-protest organized at various places of the state.
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Irom Sharmila's release has once again put focus on extra-judicial deaths at hands of army in northeastern Indian state. Manipur, a northeastern state of India bordering Myanmar, has been embroiled with armed insurgency and ethnic conflict for the past four decades. The Indian government imposed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act in to deal with the armed rebellion, in what the government calls "a disturbed area". The Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which is also applied in India-administered Kashmir, gives security forces the power to detain and arrest anybody on mere suspicion, enter and search without warrants. The armed forces are exempt from any investigation or prosecution under the law that many human rights activists dub draconian. Under this Act, several human rights violations such as fake encounters, torture, sexual abuse and enforced disappearances committed by Indian armed forces have come to light. She was released from a prison hospital in Manipur on August 20 where doctors had force fed her to keep her alive. She was charged with the attempt to commit suicide, which is a crime under Indian law. My battle against injustice and crimes committed by the army in Manipur will continue," Sharmila told the Reuters news agency on Wednesday.
Jump to navigation. Far away from the national media glare and the political manoeuvring in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, women in Manipur lead the battle against drug menace, human rights violation, corruption, Armed Forces Special Powers Act AFSPA and now the Citizenship Bill in the northeastern state. The women in Manipur have always been at the forefront of leading campaigns on political or social issues. They have made obvious strides and have a strong foothold in the state and often act as powerful influencers in the state. This time, the women activists in Manipur are hitting the streets to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. They have been asking the Biren Singh government in Manipur to clear the air on the controversial bill in Assam that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India. They believe that the Citizenship Bill is a threat to the balance of the indigenous people in the region. They said the influx would disturb the original settlers in Manipur, Assam and the Northeastern states. For all the uninitiated, Khwairamband Bazaar is a prominent market in Imphal where women vendors numbering around 4, lead the show. It is a market that is run by only women.