NSCN(IM) disallows Rishang’s funeral at his own village

Sunzu Bachaspatimayum

Imphal, August 24: In a shocking development, Naga rebels, suspected to be NSCN IM banned the final burial service of former chief minister, Rishang Keishing  at his own district, Kamjong. Kamjong was recently created by the then Congress government by bifurcating it from Ukhrul district. Incidentally Ukhrul is also the birth place of NSCN IM supremo, Thuingaleng Muivah.

Following diktak, the funeral which was earlier scheduled to be held on Friday was preponed and held at the late leader’s Mantripukhri residence in Imphal West on Thursday afternoon.

Chief minister N Biren Singh led the wreath laying ceremony along with his cabinet ministers and hordes of opposition MLAs, including former CM Okram Ibobi, top  bereaucrats like Chief Secretary of Manipur, Additional Chief Secretary, DGP  besides hundreds of people paid fitting tributes.

An IRB contingent performed the guard of honour and offered gun salute in honour of the former leader. The gathering also observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the departed soul.

Sources revealed that a letter opposing Keishing’s last rites was dropped at the latter’s Mantripukhri residence  on Wednesday morning. However in an obvious attempt to hush up the matter, people close to the Keishing family denying the NSCN IM diktak but weren’t able to give  any valid reason for dropping the scheduled burial at Kamjong. Even the bereaved family was tight lipped on it.

When contacted to confirm the  banning order and the state’reaction to it, Director General of Police, LM Khaute responded saying his departmentst has not received any formal complaint on the matter.

Keishing passed away at his ripe age of 97, at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) here on Tuesday evening.

Before the last rites at Mantripukhri , Keishing’s mortal remains were taken to Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee office, Manipur Baptist Convention (MBC)  Church  and Adimjati Siksha complex – in Imphal city where people pay their last respect to the departed soul.

At the MPCC complex the Congress flag was flown half mast as a token of respect departed leader.

The state government of Manipur has announced 3 day state mourning with a day of holiday observed on Wednesday. Biren remembered the late leader as a “cool, gentle and bright leader, who put in relentless efforts to sustain unity and integrity of the state.”

The late CM would be ever remembered as an ideal parliamentarian and a high-principled CM forever by the country, Biren said, while recalling the significant contributions to the progress of the state made by Keishing.