Manipur Is Not Yet Peaceful: Kuki Students’ Organisation, Ukhrul

Tennoson Pheirei

Ukhrul: Three villagers from Thowai (Thawai) Kuki village, who were guarding the entrance of their village were killed in a wee hour attack by unknown miscreants on Friday morning.

According to police sources, the incident happened at around 5 am in the morning. Thowai (Thawai) Kuki village with a total of around 40 household falls under Phungyar Sub-Division, Kamjong District, situated about 4.5 Km from Litan Police Station, which falls under the jurisdiction of Ukhrul District Police. The body of the three persons were brought to Ukhrul District Hospital for postmortem by Litan Police.

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Interacting with media persons, Mercy Khongsai, Joint Secretary of Kuki Student’s Organisation (KSO) Ukhrul, narrated that, “In the wee hours around 5 am Friday, the Meitei armed radical group, they intruded the village, which is under Phungyar Sub-Division, Kamjong District and killed three innocent people. Furthermore, they also attempted to burn down the village. However, with timely intervention of the volunteers from nearby villages, they ran away.”

“Today, as I am standing here, the very fact that I am standing here at mortuary of Ukhrul District Hospital for postmortem of three persons who were brutally killed by armed Meitei radicals is evident enough that Manipur is not yet peaceful. However, the Central Government and State Government claim that Manipur is already peaceful. As I have already said, this very incident that happened this very morning is evident that Manipur is no longer peaceful and it won’t be peaceful until and unless concrete resolutions is intended by the State Government as well as the Central Government.”

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On being asked how they identified the attackers as Meiteis, Mercy Khongsai replied saying, “The back-up volunteers who reached the spot of the incident before the arrival of the army and police saw people crossing the river which is between Thawai Tangkhul and Thawai Kuki village. From the footprints they left at the spot, the strength of those attackers would be around 15-25 people. The volunteers were protecting the village with a licensed gun (SBBL). Four persons were guarding the bunkers last night, one of them had gone back to their village in the early morning. The attack took place after few hours and the attackers killed the 3 volunteers and took away 2 SBBL gun.”

“Unfortunatley, the Assam Rifles have been moved out from Litan Commanding Operating Base (COB) and New Canaan COB. The Assam Rifles have been with the hill people, but this sudden change and allocation of security forces was already leading for speculation and people started to suspect that this kind of incident would happen. But we were assured that Litan area is peaceful, that nothing would happen. This is a wake-up call for the people of Litan areas that we are no longer safe. If somebody could come even when the Highway is so guarded by the army, if somebody in the number of 15-25 can come and attacked the village and killed 3 people in just half an hour, that means we are no longer safe. Regarding this, we have not spoken to the security forces. We are looking forward to have a meeting with them to discuss the security situation in the area,” Mercy Khongsai added.

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“Litan area was peaceful for the past 3 months, but today we are seeing altogether a different situation. When we compare the kind of security that we get from the Assam Rifles, we are not doubting the capabilities of the Army, however, the incident that took place this morning, I feel that, the lack of information and intelligence sources is one of the causes from the part of Army. Had there been Assam Rifles who have been with us for many years, with their rich intelligence sources, this ugly incident could have been prevented. If possible, please re-instate Assam Rifles who were there in Litan COB and New Canaan COB. What course of action to be taken up will be decided by the Kuki Inpi and of course KSO” added Joint Secretary of KSO, Ukhrul.

Brother of one of the deceased informed that they are simply village guards guarding the entrance of the village. “The Meitei attackers even tried to burn the village. This is not peace. If there is peace, there will be no killing or violence,” he said.

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The postmortem of Jamkhogin Haokip (26) S/o Doukholun Haokip, Thangkhokai Haokip (35) S/o Doulet Haokip and Hollenson Baite (24) S/o Lhunkhothang Baite were completed today at Ukhrul District Hospital and their body was taken back to Thawai Kuki village for funeral and performing necessary customary rites. SP of Ukhrul visited the hospital when the doctors were performing postmortem to take stoke of the situation.

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