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In the latest incident of violence in Manipur, the renowned Kuki songwriter Ls Mangboi Lhungdim lost his life after sustaining a fatal injury from an attack by Meitei militants, as reported by ITLF. According to a statement released by ITLF, Meitei militants, along with Manipur Commandos, carried out attacks on several Kuki-Zo villages, including Chingphei, Lonphai, Langchingmanbi, Khousabung, Khoirengtak, and Kangathei. These attacks took place despite repeated calls for peace by Home Minister Amit Shah. According to ITLF convener Ginza Vualzong, a hospital in Imphal has reported 10 deaths from the Meitei side, with 20 sustaining injuries.
ITLF stated that three individuals from the tribal community were killed, including the celebrated Kuki songwriter Ls Mangboi Lhungdim (50), who was also the composer of the famous Manipur tribal unity song, “I Gam Hilou Ham.”
Reports indicate that Lhungdim was injured in a bomb explosion. He was taken to Lamka Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on the morning of August 31st, along with Richard Hemkholun (31). His death has sent shockwaves throughout tribal-dominated regions in Manipur and Mizoram. Mangboi was a distinguished composer known for creating many gospel and patriotic songs, which were translated into various languages and sung by different tribal communities in the state. Condolences have poured in from various people and communities.
In Mizoram, Mangboi gained recognition for his patriotic song “Inthen Thei Kan Nilo,” which was a Mizo translation of his original composition. His final song for Zo-Kuki unity, “I Gam Hilou Ham,” has also been translated into Mizo and is expected to be released soon.
In an interview about his last song, Ls Mangboi Lhungdim expressed that he believed his composition was a divine gift intended to foster tribal unity. He emphasized that the song should not be performed as a solo, but rather as a group effort involving singers from different communities. A music video featuring various tribal singers from different tribes was created for the song and went viral as Manipur faced turmoil.
Today, at a commemorative event, artists from different tribes performed his song “I Gam Hilou Ham,” just as he had envisioned. They bid farewell to the cherished figure among the Kuki-Zo community of Manipur. Lhungdim is survived by his wife and five children, one of whom is currently studying in Khawzawl, Mizoram. Donate to the tribals of Manipur today
ITLF has condemned the recent attacks on tribal individuals, labelling them as an attempt to disrupt talks between SoO groups and the central government. ITLF also stated that discussions were held with the central government and will continue tomorrow.
Following a brief Manipur Legislative Assembly session, CSOs and politicians based in the valley are facing increasing criticism and mistrust in the valley. Some prominent citizens are advocating for a people’s parliament in Imphal, bypassing the Manipur Legislative Assembly.
Source: The Mizos