Imphal: Irate mob set ablaze an auto-rickshaw bearing registration number MN06-H64-26, which belonged to a member of the Meitei Pangal community, at Chingmeirong Mamang Leikai today, in response to allegations that the auto-rickshaw was being used to transport goods for the Kuki people. The Chingmeirong Apunba Meira Paibi group apprehended the vehicle in front of the Inter State Bus Terminus, ISBT, Khuman Lampak.
The driver of the auto-rickshaw, Md Sanjit Khan from Urup Awang Leikai has been handed over to the Meitei Pangal Council Manipur. Locals also imposed a four-month ban on the opening of MB Enterprises, located at Thangal Bazar, from where the goods were purchased. The driver, Sanjit Khan, explained that he received a phone call from a person named Ayang, who asked him to get electric rice cookers from the shop and transport them to a vehicle heading for Litan.
Sanjit stated that he knew Ayang for a few years but was unaware of his Kuki tribal identity due to his origin in Ukhrul district. Sanjit claimed that he learned about Ayang’s true identity today when locals looked up his mobile number. Ayang’s real name was reported to be Lunkhojang Baite. Sanjit extended an apology for his actions.
The President of the Meitei Pangal Council Manipur (MPCM), Haji Arafat Ali, mentioned that the vehicle was burned with the driver’s consent due to his actions, which were perceived as hurting the sentiments of the people amidst the ongoing crisis. Arafat Ali further stated that the MPCM would provide guidance to the driver and would hand him over to his family. He appealed to the Meitei Pangal community to avoid engaging in actions that could negatively impact the community’s image during the ongoing ethnic clashes in the state.