Congress MLA of Thangmeiband Assembly constituency, Khumukcham Joykishan announced Monday that he will not participate in the 73rd Independence Day celebration if Manipur government fails to release protestors, who were arrested during the agitation demanding justice for Babysana case, are released unconditionally by August 14.
12 members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) and Thangmeiband United Club (TUC), who have been spearheading the agitation demanding justice for Babysana, were arrested by the police charging them of disturbing the peace with the imposition of bandh and strikes in the state.
Babysana a class VII girl was found hanging inside the hostel on July 18. While the police lodged an unnatural death case, the family insists foul play.
Post mortem, which was conducted twice, also suggests the cause of death due to asphyxia by hanging.
A series of agitation had been launched by the JAC and TUC, including shutdowns to mount pressure on the government to investigate the circumstances leading to the death of the schoolgirl. Although the state government had assured to hand over the case to the CBI, the case is currently being investigated by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Manipur police.
M Joykishan said arresting the people who were seeking justice is nothing but suppression of freedom of speech. The act of the government is a disregard to the Indian constitution, he said.
There is no point in participating in the Independence Day celebration if the government instead of addressing the grievances of the people put them behind bars. The meaning of freedom becomes worthless, the MLA observed.
The JAC was compelled to impose the strikes and bandh for justice for Babysana, as the government was failing to pursue the case immediately and crack the mystery of the girl’s death, said Joykishan.
Moreover, he pointed out that the overwhelming response to the shutdown speaks for itself that the people are not satisfied with the current investigation which is being done by the state police.