Three missing men picked up
CM appeals to JAC, families to accept dead bodies for performing last rites

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, February 21 2009: In what could be termed as a major breakthrough for investigations into the triple murder case, Chief Minister O Ibobi today disclosed that the three other persons, who had been missing since the day SDO Dr Kishan and his two staff were abducted on February 13, have been rescued safe and sound by the state forces and the army under the supervision of Inspector General (LO-III) from Toloi in Ukhrul district, and that they were being brought to Imphal this afternoon for further investigation.

However, till late tonight there was no report of the three men reaching Imphal.

During a press conference held at the Cabinet Hall of the Chief Minister's Secretariat this afternoon, Ibobi said that following their rescue, the investigators will be able to find out some clue to the real story behind their abduction, murder of the SDO and his two staff.

Till the investigators find out the real confirmed story from those three rescued, one cannot term the three as criminals or allege involvement of the NSCN-IM or any other gang, observed the Chief Minister.

Chief Minister Ibobi once again appealed to the JAC formed in connection with the triple murder to receive the dead bodies saying that 90% of the demands put forward by the JAC have been translated into action by the state government.

The three rescued persons one peon and two village level workers, who accompanied Kasom Khullen SDO, Dr Kishan when he was abducted, were rescued from the forest in Tolloi area, about eight kilometers north east of the Somtal police station of Ukhrul district in the early hour today, Chief Minister informed the crowded press conference.

In supplement to the Chief Minister's disclosure, DGP Y Joykumar, who was also present at the press conference, said that the three were rescued at about 3 am today by the troop of Assam Rifles post located at Tolloi from a jungle during a search operation which had been launched in various parts of Ukhrul district since February 18. State police force, Assam Rifles and Army are currently engaged in search operations in various parts of Ukhrul district since February 18 to trace the culprits behind the murder of the SDO and his staff, the DGP said.

However, the DGP did not mention about the health condition of the rescued persons and also how they happened to be in the jungle, whether they were in the custody of their abductors or were released by the abductors.

He only said that they were being brought to Imphal for further investigation into the murder case.

The three missing men who were rescued today are Kapangkhup Jimmik, a peon in the office of SDO, Phungyar in Ukhrul district, village level workers Ramthing Tangkhul and Ramshing Tangkhul, both from Kasom Khullen.

The vehicle bearing registration number MNG-04-5799 ridden by the deceased SDO had earlier been recovered by the Assam Rifles from Mahadev are of Ukhrul district on the day after recovery of the dead bodies of the SDO and his two subordinate staff.

The Chief Minister further informed the media that the government has fulfilled 90% of the demands put up by the JAC.

The Additional Chief Secretary, who is looking after the charge of Home Department has written to the Director of CBI to take up the investigation into the triple murder case.

However, as regards initiating criminal proceedings against the suspended DC, Pankaj Kumar Pal, the Chief Minister said that it will not be right to do so as of now without prima facie evidence that he was involved in the murder case or he had nexus with a militant organisation.

If the inquiry being conducted by the state government found his hand behind the murder, then criminal proceeding against him can be taken up, he said.

He also clarified that so far there is no clue of involvement of NSCN(IM) in the murder case, and as such the government has not written to the Union Home Minister for talking with the leaders of the outfit.

The Chief Minister was making a clarification to a report appeared in today's edition of a local daily which reported that having found possible link with NSCN (IM) in the murder case, the state government has informed the Union Home Minister to discuss the matter with the leaders of the outfit.

Ibobi further said that if NSCN(IM) is found involved in the murder case and if there is any nexus between the suspended DC, Pankaj Kumar Pal and the outfit, appropriate action will be taken up as per law of the land.

With regard to the demand of providing security to the officers from valley in hill areas, the Chief Minister said that as a follow up action in the wake of the murder of the SDO, the state government has asked the officers to attend the offices of the DC concerned and do their officials works there.

They were also asked to take prior permission from the SP concerned and seek security escort if they wanted to go to work sites for inspection or any other matter related to their officials work.

The Chief Minister also clarified that offering of jobs to the kin of the deceased was only what the government has to do to its employees who are victims of such incidents, not a matter of bargaining on the life of the people.

I know the sentiment of the bereaved families as well as of the people, and I will bring justice on the murder case by booking the culprits, Ibobi assured.

He also said that the state government is considering the demand of erection of memorial at the three sites as demanded by the JAC and it can be taken after due consider later.

Commenting on the injuring of younger brother of the deceased Kishan in the police firing tear gas, Ibobi said that it was done by the police on duty only to disperse the gathering people as the gathering people may lead to any untoward incidents.

It should not be taken otherwise as police had not done it intentionally but for checking any untoward incidents.

He also informed that government has per assured has issued orders regarding the appointment of wife of the deceased SDO's wife absorbing as MCS officer and jobs to next of kins to other two employees of the state revenue department.

The Chief Minister also while giving reply to a question rise from the media reiterated that ceasefire between the NSCN(IM) and Government of India do not cover Manipur and government has clear cut stand on the matter while clarifying that no designated camps of the outfit are opening in the state.

Meanwhile, the curfew imposed in Imphal east and west districts since 5 pm Thursday was relaxed for two hours today from 1 pm to 3 pm.

During the relax hour no untoward incident reported.

However, huge turned out of people to buy daily needs were seen rushing to the shops in every nook and corners in the greater Imphal area where security forces are on strict vigilant.

Oil pumps were also crowded by the people filling fuels during the curfew relaxed hours.

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