ANSAM remembers 'martyr' bridge destroyer
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Imphal, July 18 2010: The All Naga Students' Association, Manipur (ANSAM) remembers late Namthiurei Abonmei who died accidentally while dismantling the Irang bridge on the National Highway-53 in the year 2005 when the Naga students were imposing economic blockade.

Namthiurei Abonmei died on the night of July 19 five years ago while dismantling the bridge.The ANSAM called him 'martyr'.

"On the night of July 19, 2005, Namthiurei Abonmei, a supporter of the blockade decided to take up the challenge and single handedly dismantled the bridge at Irang and in the process he lost his life, leaving behind his wife, five young children, and a hope for the Naga people.

And in his death we lost dynamic young soul-true to what he has committed to accomplished.

Today, though the fateful day has passed 5 long years, we fondly remember late Namthiurei Abonmei for the supreme sacrifice he had made to protect the rights and dignity of the Nagas.

And today we salute the martyr late Namthiurei Abonmei.

May his spirit continue to live and inspire us in our struggle towards our rightful place," prayed ANSAM today.

Chronicling the turn of events, ANSAM said that after more than five decades of conflict between the Nagas and the Indians, a ceasefire was finally signed between Government of India and NSCN(IM) in 1997, ushering in an era of hope.

In 2001 to facilitate the Indo-Naga peace talks, the ceasefire was extended without territorial limit.

The majority community in the Manipur valley was against this historic step and started violent agitation by burning Indian tri-color, State Assembly hall and shouting slogans that there were no Nagas in Manipur state resulting into the loss of 18 innocent lives, the ANSAM said.

"In the year 2005 the Manipur State Government officially announced its support to anti-Naga movement by declaring June 18 as State Holiday in honour of the June uprising and recognizing the anti-ceasefire rioters as martyrs.

ANSAM and the Naga people protested and launched an economic blockade against the Manipur Government's decision on both the National Highway-39 and NH-53 .

The State Government ignored and used force.

This had to be stopped.

The operation was perilous but some had to do it," ANSAM said.