| Visitors look at Sagolsem Menjorís paintings at the foundation day programme in Imphal on Friday. Telegraph picture |
Imphal, July 11: The brush has been a fatherís answer to the gun.
For five years Sagolsem Menjor has been knocking on doors, including that of the National Human Rights Commission, seeking justice for his son, Anand Singh, 23, who was allegedly killed by government forces.
Anand was allegedly killed by a joint team of state police and the army at Tarahei Konjil in Imphal West on April 29, 2009. The police, in its report to the national commission, said Anand was killed in an encounter, a claim rejected by his family. Anand, who worked as a private security guard in Goa, was visiting home when he was shot dead.
For Menjor, a resident of Mayang Imphal in Imphal West, it was a double tragedy. Anand was killed on the shradha (death anniversary ritual) day of his younger sister Chinglembi, who had drowned in a local pond.
After five yearsí wait for justice in vain, Menjor took up the brush to protest violence and injustice. ďI did not know how to protest. So I started painting to protest the killing of my son,Ē he said.
The result is eight paintings, which were exhibited at a function organised here today to mark the fifth foundation day of Extra-Judicial Execution Victim Familiesí Association, Manipur, a group formed by relatives of those killed by government forces.
Menjor was already painting signboards and selling a few of his paintings before his son was killed. After the tragedy, he started using the medium of painting ó with predominant use of red, the colour of blood ó to protest his sonís killing.
One of the paintings depicts the locked door of justice while another predicts an end of the world because of manís thirst for technological advancement.
Menjor is a member of the Victim Familiesí Association, which filed a petition with the Supreme Court two years ago seeking a special investigation into 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur between 1978 and 2012.
A three-member commission, headed by Justice N. Hegde and constituted by the Supreme Court to probe six of the cases listed in the petition, found all the six cases involving the death of seven persons to be fake encounters. The apex court will resume hearing on the petition on July 14.
Expressing full faith in the Supreme Court, the associationís president, Renu Takhellambam, urged the court to speed up the hearing, compensate the relatives and protect them from harassment by government agencies for approaching the apex court.
In another function, several citizenís organisations observed the tenth anniversary of the killing of Thangjam Manorama allegedly by the Assam Rifles here today. Troops of the Assam Rifles had picked up Manorama from her home, allegedly raped and killed her on July 11, 2014 in Imphal East. The case is still pending in the Supreme Court.