IMPHAL, March 15 – Holding placards reading ‘Knock out Sec 377’, ‘We are not sex toy, No No Sec 377’, etc., people from different walks of life including LGBTs (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) and rights activists staged the first-ever pride walk in the busy Imphal streets today.
The pride walk organised by All Manipur Nupi Manbi Association (AMANA) was small, but the participants were from different parts of the State.
“Discrimination against the LGBT community is not new and there are innumerable everyday instances of labelling the community as ‘immoral’, ‘unnatural’, etc,” said AMANA secretary Shanta Khurai. “We are protesting against the Section 377, which suppresses the basic human rights of the community”, he added.
The walk which began from Khuman Lampak Youth Hostel gate around 11.15 am moved through the Stadium Road, busy Minuthong (bridge), Hatta, New Checkon traffic point and RDS-Palace Gate junction before converging at the Lamyanba Shanglen Hall where AMANA functionaries expressed the need to take up awareness programmes on Sec 377 and Pride Walk.
Advocate Kausik Gupta of Kolkata High Court, Advocate and Law College lecturer Ch Momon, Deputy Director Abhiram Mongjam of Manipur State AIDS Control Society and others were on the dias.
The Pride Walk in Imphal was supported by Solidarity & Action against HIV infection in India, Pehchan, Alliance and America Jewish World Service.
Clad in colourful clothes – skirts, pants and funky costumes, the participants wearing coloured garlands came together to express their pride and joy. Several participants also wore colourful masks.