Two days after the mortal remains of former Manipur chief minister Rishang Keishing were buried in Imphal, the NSCN(IM) has denied reports that it had prevented his body being taken to his native village for burial.
A statement issued by the NSCN(IM) termed the news about the organization allegedly stopping Rishang Keishing’s last journey to his birthplace as “unauthenticated” and said that “there was neither restrictions imposed from NSCN/GPRN authority for the burial at Bungpa village.” There were no restrictions against the former chief minister’s son Victor Keishing (former MLA of Phungyar LAC) for visiting Bungpa village, it said.
The Indian Express had on August 24 quoted former Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh who had said that Keishing’s body could not be taken to his native village for burial because of the NSCN(IM). “He (Keishing) had always wanted to be buried in his native village. So we had requested NSCN(IM) to let us take him there for burial. They have also banned his son Victor Keishing, an MLA, from going there. So we buried him in Imphal,” Ibobi Singh had told The Indian Express.
“Rishang Keishing was a nationalist and a veteran politician. He was the last living member of the first Lok Sabha. They (NSCN) should have allowed, this is most unfortunate. There were hundreds waiting there to pay him last respects. He believed that all Manipuris — Meiteis and tribals — should live peacefully together with other Indians. This did not fit their (NSCN) agenda. Maybe they thought he’s anti-Naga. I don’t know,” Ibobi Singh had said.