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Kuki songwriter death shakes Mizoram

L S Mangboi Lhungdim

Aizawl: News of the death of L S Mangboi Lhungdim (42) allegedly in the hands of Manipur Police commandos and Arambai Tenggol combine during the attacks on Khosabung village in Lamka (Churachandpur) district spread across Mizoram like wildfire.

Widely known amongst ethnic Mizos both in Manipur and Mizoram for the songs he composed on importance of unity among the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar-Mizo community, Lhungdim’s songs – “I Gam Hi Lo Ham?” or “Is this not our land?” and “Inthen Thei Kan Ni Lo” or “We cannot afford to be divided” are extremely popular.

His songs recorded by a number of well-known singers uploaded on Youtube took the social media in Mizoram by storm after the news of his death spread.

Amidst an outpouring of grief, numerous netizens in Mizoram expressed their heartfelt condolences on social media. A user’s poignant remark captures the sentiment: “His melodies, woven with the thread of unity among our Zo ethnic brethren, have stirred my emotions. Now, the jolting news of his untimely demise while safeguarding the very land he immortalized in his verses is profoundly distressing.”

Reports said that Lhungdim and other village volunteers defending their village sustained bullet injuries in the attacks by Manipur Police and Arambai Tenggol on Wednesday morning.

The injured persons, including Lhungdim were taken to Lamka district hospital for medical treatment. As the doctors in the hospital were not equipped to undertake the required medical treatment, arrangements were made to airlift him to Guwahati via Aizawl.

He succumbed to his injuries on Thursday morning at 7 AM while arrangements were being made to transport him to Aizawl.

He left his wife and five children. One of his daughters is studying class 8 at Khawzawl town in Mizoram. Being a musician he was running a music studio in Churachandpur.

Meanwhile, the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF), apex body of the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar Mizo community in Manipur called for ‘Emergency Shutdown’ with immediate effect in Lamka (Churachandpur) district of Manipur on Thursday.

Spokesperson of the ITLF Ginza Vualzong told Zoram Chronicle over phone that the ‘emergency shutdown’ was called after Lonphai, Khousabung, Kangvai and Sugnu areas are under incessant attacks since Tuesday.

“Emergency services like medical, police, water electricity, press are exempted,” Vualzong said, adding that 2 tribal community members have so far been killed in the attacks. 

The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) of Manipur taking shelter in Mizoram has increased due to continued armed attacks on several villages in Churachandpur district state home department officials said.

At least 12,994 IDPs of Manipur are now taking shelter in the state as of 5 PM on Thursday, the officials said, adding that while 9,464 people are joining their relatives and friends or stay in rented houses, 2,530 people are lodged in 34 relief camps.

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Zoram Chronicle