The mothers of Manipur—twelve women who made history -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

The mothers of Manipur—twelve women who made history

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: An amazing scene unfolds in front of Kangla Fort, the headquarters of the Assam Rifles, a unit of the Indian Army.

Soldiers and officers watch aghast as 12 women, all in their sixties and seventies, position themselves in front of the gates and then, one by one, strip themselves naked.

The imas — the mothers of Manipur — are in a cold fury, protesting the custodial rape and murder by the army of Thangjam Manorama, a 32-year-old woman suspected of being a militant.

The women hold aloft banners and shout, “Indian Army Rape Us” and “Take Our Flesh.”

Never has this happened before and the army is appalled. Very soon, news of the protest goes viral.

People around the country are shocked.” The 200 pages book titled ‘The Mothers of Manipur-Twelve Women Who Made History’ written by eminent journalist Ms. Teresa Rehman has created fury around the world about heinous behavior of the Indian forces in the areas controlled by India.

“Can this be possible? A naked protest in India by mothers?” the question has been posed by the author and responded with hilarious accounts and pictures in the book.

In this unusual book, journalist Teresa Rehman tells the story of these 12 women, the momentous decision they took, and how they carried it out with precision and care.

In doing so she connects the reader to the broader history of conflict-torn Manipur and the courage and resistance of its people in particular its women.

She has also drawn parallel with the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and narrated that after all not one member of the armed forces has been made to stand trial in an open court for alleged atrocities committed in Jammu & Kashmir over the last 24 years.

Manorama’s brother Thangjam Dolendro Meetei has appealed to the UNHRC to join the Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial Summary and Arbitrary Executions in the latter’s call for repealing the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) Act.

Meetei recalled that on the night of July 10, 2004, one dozen Assam Rifle personnel broke into his house and dragged his sister out of their house, interrogated and tortured for over three hours.

No woman police was present while arresting his sister, as required by the law.

Her bullet-riddled body was found at around 5:30 a.m. on July 11, 2004 by villagers near Ngariyan Maring, about four kilometers from her house and there were semen stains on her dress.

Security officials say Thangjam Manorama Devi was a dangerous member of the separatist People’s Liberation Army.

According to the army, she was responsible for a number of bomb blasts, including one that killed some soldiers. Her family insists she was a peaceful activist and not involved in any criminal activities.  The Assam Rifles claimed she had been shot dead while trying to escape.

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