The last rites of Leichonbam Abemcha, believed to be the first Meira Paibi (torchbearer) to fall victim to Kuki militants, were conducted with great honor at Kangchup Chingkhong.
Abemcha, who succumbed to a fatal bullet injury sustained during an intense firing incident on November 7, was laid to rest on November 17. The procession, transporting her lifeless body from the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences mortuary to her native village, was met with a sea of mourners, reflecting the profound impact of her tragic demise.
Chants of “Revenge, where blood answers to blood” and “Mother Kangleipak Outshines all” resonated through the air as people paid their respects to the departed Meira Paibi. The incident marks a disturbing escalation in the ongoing crisis, with Abemcha becoming a symbol of the violence that has gripped the region.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC), formed in response to Abemcha’s texting, initially refused to claim her body until their demands were met. Among their demands were the laying of Abemcha’s mortal remains to rest at Kangchup Chingkhong, the expulsion of Kuki militants attacking Meitei villages in the foothill areas of Sekmai and Lamsang constituencies, and the eviction of Kuki immigrants encroaching on Kangchup Reserve Forest, Kangchup Chiru Reserved Forest, and Meitei villages in Imphal West.
After receiving assurances from Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, the JAC agreed to take custody of Abemcha’s body. Their demands also included calls for heightened security measures to address lapses in adjoining areas of Imphal West and Kangpokpi.
Leichonbam Abemcha leaves behind a grieving family, survived by her husband and three children—a 17-year-old daughter, a 14-year-old son, and a 3-year-old son. Abemcha had been under medical care at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences since the day of her injury.