Kids take up their fight, protest all over
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 24: In a unique show of solidarity against kidnapping and recruitment of children as child soldiers by militants, students in different parts of the State today skipped the classes of their last period to demonstrate in front of their respective schools.

The young demonstrators also gave out a clear message to all for creating a conducive atmosphere where they can study and grow normally. Placards inscribed with slogans like 'Children need love and care, not arms', 'Stop kidnapping of innocent children', 'Show humanity, not cruelty', 'Stop recruitment of child soldiers', etc were seen being put at the sites of the demonstration.

Participating in a protest demonstration held along Sega Road, a student of Moral Resource Academy said that before the reports of child kidnapping spread, they used to go school or play in the field happily without any fear and apprehension.

But it has not been the same any more.

Students staging a dharna against recruiting child soldiers in front of their institution

'In fact three students of my class have stopped coming to the school after their parents forbade them from going out due to fear of being kidnapped', the student disclosed.

A young girl student of John's English School, who participated in the human chain formed by the students of the school today, pleaded that young children should not be subjected to any sort of threat but allow them to study in peace.

'I want kidnapping of young children to be stopped at once', she added.

Principal of Sankey English School explained that the teachers and students of the school today skipped their last period to demonstrate support to the public concern over rising cases of young children being kidnapped for recruitment as child soldiers.

The reports of kidnapping young children has send shock-waves among the parents and if this is allowed to go on then it would have a serious impact on the society, the principal observed.

For the students and teachers of Don Bosco School, Langjing who demonstrated at the roadside of Iroisemba turning, it was also an occasion to protest against the attempted kidnapping of one the students of the school by unidentified persons on July 22 .

A student of class VII, Gigeon, reportedly managed to escape from the clutches of his kidnappers from a spot in between the State Zoological Garden and Agriculture College, Iroisemba at around 8.40 am.

Students and teachers of Yurembam Govt High School, Bal Vidya Mandir (Porompat), Pioneer Academy (Palace Compound), City Montessori (Lamphel), Ananda Singh Higher Second Academy (Checkon), Diana English School (Porompat), Pettigrew Jr High School (Singjamei Thokchom Leikai), Nongpok Maheikol (Brahmapur Aheibam Leikai), Black Bird English School ( Thangal Bazar), The Don English School (New Checkon), Little Rose Senior Sec School (Canchipur), Don Bosco (Langjing), Sunshine Academy (Moidangpok), Navodaya Vidyalaya (Khumbong), Success School (Khurai Lamlong Bazar), Tiny Tots' Unique School (Dewlahland), Eastern Higher Sec School (Hatta), North Eastern School (Lamlong Mamang), Little Rose Hr Sec School ( Canchipur), Dineshwori Hr Sec School, Eastern Janitor School (Thongju), Bethel English School (Nambol), Ibotonsana Girls Hr Sec School (Uripok), TG Hr Secy School (New Lambulane), Uripok Girls' High School, Thambaljao High School (Uripok), Mahatma Gandhi Samarak High School (Uripok) , Shantilata English School (Paona Bazar), Living Standard English Academy (Chana), Gurukul Junior High School (Zone-I) and The Mangoljao English School (Top Awang Leikai) also staged similar demonstration in front of their respective school gates.

Students and teachers of Naorem Birahari College, Khundrakpam also staged protest against kidnapping of young children for recruitment as child soldiers.

The student who escaped from the clutches of his unknown abductors has been identified as Gigeon.

Manipur Alliance for Child Rights also organised a Wakat Meepham at Keishampat Junction here today demanding to stop kidnapping of young children, recruiting them as child soldiers and urging all concerned to help in creating a conducive atmosphere for the children to grow up without any fear.

Slogans like 'Give pen to children, not guns', 'Stop child recruitment', 'Stop child exploitation', 'Stop child trafficking', Protest child rights', 'Ensure juvenile justice', 'Don't terrorise young children', etc were seen inscribed on the placards used during the Wakat Meepham.

Over the same issue, members of All Manipur Women's Social Reformation and Development Samaj, Naorem Leikai Amujam Leirak also staged a Wakat Meepham.

Local Meira Paibis also staged sit-in-protest demonstration at Okram Chuthek and Tera Loukram Leirak decrying kidnapping and recruitment of children.

At Wangkhei Keithel Ashangbi, the shopkeepers closed down the shops for the day and joined hands with the local Meira Paibis in demonstrating against recruitment of young children by militants.