Justice for Loitam Richard Campaign
The nation-wide campaign for justice for Loitam Richard, a nineteen years old Architectural Engineering student at Acharya NRV Engineering College, Bangalore, who was beaten to death by his hostel mates, was held in different parts of India. As a part of this nation-wide campaign, Hyderabad Manipuri Society (HYMS), in association with the Students Union of University of Hyderabad and Manipuri students held a protest cum condolence meeting at the university campus today i.e. 29th April, 2012. The campaign was attended by more than one hundred and fifty persons from different walks of life, from different region and states. The event, created by HYMS, demands an immediate action from Karnataka police and government.
The event for Loitam Richard had silent protest-rally and observed two minutes silence for the departed soul. Amidst candles and slogans, people gathered for the event condemns the homicide and demanded that justice be brought. One of the speakers, Rajeev Rahi, a Ph.D student of Hindi literature, questions the system and how this system for its own existence has killed so many people particularly from the minority sections. He calls Indian Democracy a pseudo and we have people have to fight against such a hegemonic and oppressive system. Another speaker, Phani also echoing Rajeev’s point maintains how institutional system is killing instead of grooming them for the future. He also referred to Dona Silva Sangma, the girl from Meghalaya who committed suicide allegedly after she was caught using unfair means; he also referred to Irom Sharmila to bring out how minority are treated in this country which is supposedly the largest democracy in the world. Zameer, another Ph.D Scholar and Manjoy Lourembam who represented HYMS also spoke on the occasion.
Few of the media houses which came to cover the event took interviews of people gathered. Thongam Bipin, a Ph.D student in University and also the Cultural coordinator of HYMS points out the possibility of racial discrimination and abuses. He also condemns the insensitivity of college administration and Karnataka police. They should be held responsible.
In this regard, HYMS stands for justice for Loitam Richard and his family. It believes that Richard could be anybody and it could happen to anybody. Though the issue has a possible tinge of racial discrimination, HYMS would choose to remain mum for the moment. We will wait for the findings because we believe that the police and other higher authorities can no longer remain silent. At this hour, HYMS condemns Richard’s killing in the strongest possible terms and extends our support. Richard’s case is a reminiscence of nth number of such killings. We demand an end to this and justice be brought and the case should be handed over to CBI.
Hyderabad Manipuri Society (HYMS)