Child escapes kidnap bid, protests continue unabated all over
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 28: Notwithstanding the vociferous protests and fervent appeals from different sections of the society against the recent spate of kidnapping of children, a student reading in Church of God English School located at Awang Khunou under Patsoi police station managed to escape from the hands of some unidentified persons who reportedly tried to kidnap him on July 24 .

The child identified as Thokchom Boy s/o Tombi of Awang Khunou Sabal is reading in class VII.

According to Boy, he came upon a white Maruti van near Awang Khunou community pond on his way to school at about 9.10 am of July 24 .

Just as he approached the van, four persons came up from a depressed spot alonside the road.

They asked Boy where he was going.

Boy responded that he was going to school.

Then the four unidentified persons offered to give a lift till his school.

But Boy denied the offer saying that his school was just ahead.

Insiting that they would offer a lift, they took Boy's hands and one of them tried to lift him into the van.

Children in a rally to denounce recruitment of child soldiers

At the moment, one person came from Ngairangbam side on a bicycle.

Seeing the person coming, the four suspected kidnappers left Boy behind, recounted the student. On the particular day, Boy did not attend school but went to his aunt's (named Jabo) place who lives near his school.

Taking strong exception to the reported attempt to kidnap a school going child, students, teaching and non-teaching staff and guardians staged a protest sitting today.

On the other hand, continuing with the protest movement against kidnapping young children and demanding to release all the kidnapped children and to let children go to their schools without any sense of fear and apprehension, protest rallies and protest sittings were staged at different parts of the State today.

In one such protest rally taken out by students and guardians of Khurkhul Standard English, slogans like "Stop kidnapping children", "Let students study in peace" etc echoed all throughout their route around Khurkhul.

After the rally, a large number of students and Meira Paibis of Apunba Khurkhul Nupi Lup, Nupi Chaokhat Lup Kanto, Pioneer Club Khurkhul, AKSO Khurkhul Awang Leikai, Sardar Patel High School, Lairenjao Primary School staged a protest sitting.

Similar protest sittings were also staged by the North Imphal Meira Paibi Apunba Lup, St Anthony's English School, Priyadarshini Memorial Educational Institute Kairang, King English School Luwangshangbam, Reliance English School Luwangshangbam, Luwangshangbam Meira Paibi Lup, Achanbigei Junior High School, Kalachand Ashram English School Phumlou, Phumlou Junior High School and Phumlou Primary School.

At Naoremthong Takyel Khongbal Khumanthem Leikai, students, Meira Paibis and volunteers of Takyel Khongbal Chaokhat Thourang Nupi Marup, Model English Academy Khumanthem Leika and Takyel Khongbal Progressive Youth Club staged a protest demonstration against kidnapping young children.

At the protest venue, placards which read as "Save students' life", "Don't recruit young students as soldiers" etc. Waakat Meephams against the same issue were also staged by Macha Ibemma Nupi Kanglup, Takyel Khongbal, Sunshine English Academy Phumlou Siphai, Meeyam Amata Oina Punsinba Lup, Langol, CTS Children Training School, Limus Academy and Pine Wood View Higher Secondary School.

Students of Standard English School, Porompat Girls' High School, Porompat Junior High School and Chaoyaima High School took out a protest rally against kidnapping young students without their shirts around Kongpal.

Students of Juvavidya Niketan also staged a protest sitting at Kongpal while Irom Meijrao Apunba Nupi Chaokhat Lamjing Lup protested at Irom Meijrao Bazar and Phoijing Apunba Nupi Lup at Phoijing Bazar.

On the other hand, Meira Paibis and students of schools located around Thoubal Bazar took out a protest rally from Thoubal Bazar till Wangjing.

The rallyists shouted such slogans as "Stop kidnapping children", "Children are future pillars of nation", "Kidnapping children is an act of terrorism" etc.

The rally was jointly organised by the Khunai Kanba Apunba Meira Paibi Lup Thoubal district, People Welfare Forum Thoubal district and Leimarol Phidam Ima Lup Thoubal district.

As the rallyists reached Khangabok, a large number of students belonging to 14 schools located around Khangabok joined them and formed a human chain.

Reports of several civil society organisations and educational institutions staging sit-in-protest and organising protest rallies apart from strongly condemning kidnapping of children continues to flood in.

Moreover, many others also appealed to the UG group concerned to desist from targeting young children.

These bodies include Women Welfare Association (Kongpal Makha), Jug-Tam Vidya Niketan (Porompat), Kongpal Makha Meira Paibi Lup, OYO Kongpal Makha, Tarahei Muslim Women Welfare Association (Hiyangthang), Welfare Club (Sagolband), Federation of Regional Indigenous Societies (Hqs & Nambol council), Haoreibi Women's Welfare Association, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa Meira Paibi Development Organisation (Haobam Marak Irom Leikai), Meeyam Amata Oina Punsinba Lup (Langol), Amudon Nupi Phurup (Bijoygovinda Akham Leikai), Phayeng Apunba Nupee Lup, Nungthil Chaibi Mahila Mandal (Thambalkhong Sabal Leikai), Tabung Pukhri mapal Nupi Khut (Thangmeiband Sinam Leikai), Manipur State Committee of All Manipur Democratic Women Association, Chanura Lamchinglel Kangleipak, Students' Association (Keishampat), International Peace and Social Advancement (Keishampat), Awang Nongpok Nupee Lamjing Lup (Sagolmang), Yumburembi Mama Nupi Lup (Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai), Joint Social Upliftment Committee (Khangabok), New Public English School, KM Blooming ES, IS English Academy, Pujari HS, Gulap Memorial ES, Popular ES, Yanaki Peace Academy, Child Care ES, Amuba HS, Shining Flower ES, Eastern Star School, Peace and Freedom Academy (all Khangabok) Khangabok HS, union of Social Upliftment (Khurai Lamlong), Youth's Athletic Star Union (Bhagyabati Leikai) and Kangabam Leikai apunba Nupi Marup.

Meanwhile, Students' Federation of India Manipur State Committee has also launched signature campaign against the kidnapping of children by UG groups.

The campaign that kicked started at DM College of Arts would also cover other educational institutions and would conclude with the submission of a memorandum to the Governor appealing for intervention and initiation of necessary measures to stop kidnapping of children.