Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Over thousands of students, braving the sun today staged a protest rally in Aizawl demanding the unconditional disposal of criminal case leveled against their leaders for allegedly calling an agitation against the re-employment of the already sacked Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (PwD) B Sairengpuii in January last year.
The protest rally was joined by a large number of students drawn from various colleges in Aizawl. The protesting students however, dispersed in the afternoon after a local court disposed the case.
Chargesheet was filed against former leaders of Mizo Students’ Union (MSU) and Aizawl City College Joint Students’ Union (ACCJSU) involving 12 people including former MSU president PC Lalrinhlua and former MSU general secretary Lalremruata Chhangte for allegedly using criminal force during an agitation against re-employment of B. Sairengpuii near PwD office in Aizawl on 21 January last year. The chargesheet was filed after a police personnel C. Vanlalnghakmawia registered a suo moto FIR at Bawngkawn police station and the subsequent investigation against the accused.
The student leaders were accused of using criminal activity by storming the PwD office at Chaltlang and assaulting police personnel during a protest which led to injury of many police personnel. They have also been accused of sabotaging a private car kept road side during an agitation.
A local court today summoned the accused for prosecution which the students termed it “provocative” or “abusive” as an agreement had already been reached last year after the state government revoked the re-employment of the commissioner.
Irritated by the government secret move, multitude of students numbering around 2,000 assembled today in front of Vanapa Hall to show solidarity to their leaders. They demanded the state government to unconditionally dispose criminal case filed against their leaders. The student protested that the government has conspired to book the former student leaders for their alleged involvement in the agitation. During a four hour long protset, they raised slogan which reads “We condemns the government for secretly filing chargsheet against our leaders even as an agreement was already made with the government last year,” “We would not allow our leaders to appear before court but the government should dismiss their cases unconditionally,” and “We are against the injustice meted out to our leaders.”
The students also passed a resolution stating that no criminal case should, henceforth, be filed against any student leaders in their fight for the cause of Mizoram and Mizo people and no student should be physically attacked by police during protest.
The rally went off on peaceful note as the student dispersed in the afternoon after first class magistrate of Aizawl district court H. Lalduhsanga disposed the case unconditionally.
The court order stated that “by invoking section 321 (a) Cr. PC, all the accused persons are hereby discharged from the charges leveled against them. With the above order, the instant case stands disposed of.”
Agitation in 2016
Spearheaded by MSU, a large number of students and differently abled people numbering around 2000 launched an agitation in January last year demanding the revocation of the re-employment of B. Sairengpuii as Commissioner for Person with Disabilities (PwD). During an agitation, the protesting students stormed PwD office at Chaltlang in Aizawl which resulted in a clash with police.
At least eight persons including some police personnel were reportedly injured in a clash between the agitating students and policemen on 21 January.
They alleged that Sairengpuii, a retired state secretariat service officer and younger sister of Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s wife Lal Riliani, was appointed as the PwD Commissioner though she did not have the requisite qualification.
Sairengpuii retired as secretary under social welfare department in 2012. After her retirement she was re-employed as Commissioner for PwD for three years from 2012-2015. The Government extended her re-employment for another two years i.e. from 2015 – 2017 which triggered strong protest from the student community and differently abled people.
The anti-re-employment agitation however, was called off on 22 January, 2016 after the state government issued an order revoking the re-employment of B. Sairengpuii as commissioner for PwD.