JAC sticks to its guns of not taking bodies until murderers are booked and punished
Curfew cripples life

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, February 20 2009: Normal life in the two districts of Imphal East and Imphal West continued to be crippled today even after the 48-hour general strike concluded last midnight as curfew has been clamped in the two districts.

Curfew was not relaxed for the whole day today and is likely to continue tomorrow also.

Officials said, as and when the situation improves, curfew will be relaxed.

On the other hand, the state security forces have launched a massive search operation in Ukhrul district to hunt the culprits behind the murder of the SDO and his two staff with a mission for rescueing the three missing persons.

Police believed that they are in the custody of the abductors suspected to be cadres of a militant group.

The massive operation is being launched under the supervision of Inspector General of Police, LM Khaute, official source said.

Meanwhile, the JAC formed in connection with the murder of SDO Dr Th Kishan and his two staff has reaffirmed its decision not to take the dead bodies till their demands of booking the culprits and initiating criminal proceedings against the suspended Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police, Ukhrul for their alleged negligence in the murder case are made.

Representatives of the JAC met Chief Minister O Ibobi this evening and submitted a charter of their demands drafted at the public meeting held earlier today.

The meeting concluded without any amicable solution.

The Chief Minister reportedly turned down the seven point charter of demands submitted by the JAC.

Meanwhile, the dead bodies of the MCS officer Th Kishan, his driver, Rajen and Mandol Token are still lying unclaimed at RIMS morgue as the families have handed all rights and rituals concerning the bodies to the JAC.

A meeting of the JAC and Apunba Lup participated by the members of the three families of the three deceased men held this afternoon at Yumnam Leikai has once again reaffirmed its decision not to receive the dead bodies.

The meeting also resolved to put up some fresh demands to the government like installation of memorial sites at three places, at Ukhrul DC complex where they were abducted, at Lukhrabi bridge in Senapati district where the corpses were abandoned and at Kasom Khullen where the SDO and his two staff were posted.

The JAC is also demanding to trace the whereabouts of the three missing persons–a peon in the SDO office, Phungyar of Ukhrul district and two village level workers with an appeal to the abductors for their safe and unconditional release.

Criminal procedures should be taken up against the DC, Pankaj Kumar Pal and SP, A Dorji, who have been placed under suspension for negligence in discharging their duty, another demand of the JAC which was reaffirmed at today's meeting said.

Pointing out that one armed militant group which dominates Ukhrul district, and which is maintaining ceasefire with the Government of India is behind the triple murder, the JAC demanded appropriate action against the outfit.

While announcing the reaffirmed decisions, the JAC warned that if the demands were not translated into action by the government within the next two days, the JAC with the support of the people and civil societies extending supports to the JAC will launch other forms of intense agitations.

Other resolutions are not to allow opening of NSCN (IM) camps in Manipur, to bring the violation of ceasefire ground rules to the knowledge of the Union Home Ministry, to suspend security personnel involved in the firing of tear gas shells at the house of deceased Kishan last night.

Speaking at the meeting, the convener of the JAC, Yumnam Khemchand condemned the imposition of curfew in Imphal while the people were protesting against the triple murder with non-violent means.

He also said that involvement of NCSN(IM) in the murder case is 100% truth and its is known to the people.

Coordinator of Apunba Lup, Sunil Karam said, the delay in finding the culprits of the SDO and his two staff on the part of the state government shows its weakness.

Phunindro Konsam of the Apunba Lup, who also spoke at the meeting said if an underground outfit fighting for sovereignty starts killing innocent people, then they are the enemies of the people.

Any outbreak of communal clash out of the murder incident should be the sole responsibility of the outfit which committed the crime, and that of the state government.

The government should know that people's outrage could not be cooled down by compensation and giving jobs to the families of the victims, he added.

The members of the victims' families present at the meeting demanded that the state authorities should take up criminal proceedings against the suspended DC, Pankaj Kumar Pal for his alleged involvement in the murder.

Romita, wife of SDO Kishan, said that her husband had told her that DC Pankaj Kumar has good relationship with the NSCN (IM).

She also alleged that her husband was murdered after the DC called him to his office and made the NSCN (IM) abduct him.

She also expressed her willingness to let the ex-gratia amount to be paid for her husband's death be used in hunting the culprits.

Advocate Khaidem Mani, speaking at the meeting observed that the NSCN (IM) is made of a gang and the people should not blame the Naga community for the wrong deeds of NSCN (IM).

He also urged the government of India to withdraw peace talks with the outfit if it aims at breaking Manipur.

While considering the demand of criminal proceedings against the DC and the SP, Chief Minister Ibobi informed the JAC that the matter can be considered after the inquiry reports come up, convener of the JAC, Y Kapur said.

The CM is also reported to have said that any involvement of the NSCN(IM) or any other militant group in the murder case will be knwon after the inquiry reports are submitted, and necessary action will be taken up.

He also assured the JAC that he will try at his best level to translate the recommendation of the inquiry reports into action.

Ibobi also said that the government will allot the site for installation of memorials of the victims at a proper place after due consideration.

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