Help us find their remains for last rites: Parents of murdered Manipuri youths urge govt
According to Meitei custom, at least a small portion of the clothes they wore last is needed to perform the last rites
The parents of two Manipuri teenagers whose murder triggered widespread protests have urged the authorities on Thursday (September 28) to find their remains so that their last rites can be performed with dignity.
"We want to see our children one last time and conduct their last rites with the dignity they deserve. Nothing can substitute the loss,” Hijam Kulajit, father of the 18-year-old girl, told PTI.
According to Meitei custom, at least a small portion of the clothes they wore last is needed to perform the last rites.
"Whenever I see her photo, it makes me completely restless. I can't find peace in my heart. Her mother has lost her senses and become bed-ridden, while embracing a photo of our daughter," Kulajit said.
The girl and the boy went missing on July 6, two months after ethnic violence rocked Manipur. They were last seen on CCTV camera footage at Nambol in Bishnupur district.
Their phones were tracked by the police to Lamdan in Kuki-dominated Churachandpur district.
The grieving families
"For a day, we assumed they had eloped. But after contacting the boy's family, we sensed something missing. I don't understand why they had to be killed," Kulajit asked.
When the bodies of the girl and the 20-year-old boy went viral, Imphal Valley was rocked by two days of violent protests that left some 65 people injured.
The family of the boy too is unable to come to terms with the tragedy. Unable to believe that her son is no more, his mother continues to cook for him daily. "It's been two-and-a-half months now, but I haven't washed my son's blanket as I can still smell him," she said.
In accordance with theMeitei custom, both the mothers offer incense sticks, candles and a small portion of food in front of the photographs of their children daily till the last rites are conducted.
Both the distraught families hope that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which has taken over the case, will help in finding the bodies of their children and reveal why they were murdered.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister N Biren Singh quoted Union Home Minister Amit Shah as saying that those who abducted and killed the two Manipuri youths will be punished.
Manipur’s ethnic violence involving the Meitei community and tribals has left more than 175 people dead and hundreds injured since May 3.
(With agency inputs)