Demands for safe release of school girls continue

IMPHAL, April 04: Amidst claims from the proscribed outfit RPF that school students Alice Kamei and Khaidem Sanahanbi Chanu had come to the outfit on their own accord, several Zeliangrong organizations staged sit in protests at three different places in Imphal demanding the safe release of Alice Kamei.

Sit in protests were staged at three separate localities in Thangmeiband. Locals of Thoron Village staged a sit in protest at the village; Neikalong Women Welfare Association staged another at the Neikalong village. Another sit in protest was also held at Grace Colony, Thangmeiband.

The protestors while arguing that the girl is underage and only 14 years old appealed to all concern to release her immediately.

Meanwhile, the Ukhrul District Alliance for Child Rights (UDACR), Ukhrul and the Zingsho Katamnao Long –ZKL (Eastern Students Organisation), Ukhrul District in a press release has expressed serious concern over the matter that two girls Alice Kamei and Sanahanbi Khaidem who have been missing since March 10, 2013 from the boarding of Grace Reach Academy, Hiyanglam have not been released till date.

It is disappointing that the state could not ensure safe release of these girls till date, it said.

It is also of great concern that RPF/PLA is responsible for causing this child rights violation who is supposed to be protecting the rights of children for strong and bright future, it said.

“We appeal the concern organization to release the girls safely without any condition at the earliest”, it said.

“We demand the state authority to ensure safe release of these two girls immediately and also take necessary steps to ensure safe and secure environment for children in the state”, it said.

Meanwhile, the United NGOs Mission-Manipur (UNM-M) has expressed serious concern over the kidnapping of two minor girls namely Alice Kamei (14) of Chingphu Kamei Village under Wangoi police station and Khaidem Sanahanbi Devi (15) of Upokpi, Bishnupur since last March 10 from their residential school by the proscribed PLA/RPF.

Informing this in a press meet at Manipur Press Club today, Sobita Mangsatabam Co-Convener of the Women Committee of UNM-M said such a incident is highly condemnable and unfortunate as it accounts for a total child rights violation and also violates international humanitarian law.

According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Resolution 1261 of UNSC, Non-state actors and guerrilla forces are forbidden from recruiting anyone under the age of 18 for any purpose and their use in hostilities, she added.

She further added that  the Deed of Commitment of the Geneva Call calls for the determination to protect the civilian population, in particular children from the effects or dangers of military actions and to respect their right to life, to human dignity, to education and to development, with the best interest of the child as a primary consideration.

It is below the revolutionary ethics of any Geneva Call signatory organizations (non-state actors) to conduct such humiliating act of keeping two minors in captivity and such a situation would rather create a state of fear psychosis and trauma in the mind of the two girls, Sobita went on to say.

She continued that UNM-M being a women and children promoting non-profitable Network organization considers children as the pillars of the society and promoting child rights and security to have a dignified life of the children. It appealed for the safe release of the captive children without any delay.

UNM-M would remain most grateful if the so alleged PLA/RPF clarify the matter at the earliest and help in the safe release of two minor girls. "Even if the children willingly come to them they should not  be recruited as they are below 18 years. If the children are not released within a week then it will resolve to launch various agitations in cooperation with various other groups," she added.

The press meet was attended by Kh Jibanmala, Co-Convenor Imphal West District Women Committee UNM-M; L Pishak Singh, Member Bishnupur District Network Committee UNM-M; and Kh Mangoljaobi, Convenor Thoubal District Women Committee UNM-M.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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