Guilty AR men will not be spared: CM
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 14: In connection with the gunning down of three youths yesterday morning at Gelbung Village under Sapermeina PS by personnel of Assam Rifles, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh today stated that a thorough investigation would be conducted and any AR personnel found guilty during the probe would not be spared and punished according to the law of the country.

Raising a question during Zero Hour of the morning session in connection with yesterday's incident, Opposition MLA Thangminlien Kipgen informed that 14 Assam Rifles personnel had fired indiscriminately after surrounding the village in the wee hours of July 13 with the intention of ambushing UGs who might have taken shelter in the village.

Failing in their attempt to catch the UGs, the army personnel swooped down on the villages of Sipijang, Tuljapang, and Thangbuh and bashed up all the villagers sparing no one not even the village elders and children.

The youths of the villages were later taken to a play ground at Gelbung and thrashed black and blue, said the MLA and added that after a thorough identification procedure three youths were detained while the other village youths were set free by the personnel.

The three innocent youths were later shot by the AR personnel after being brutally tortured for some hours, claimed the MLA.

According to reports received by the press, two out of three victims are reported to be brothers.

The three youths have been identified as Kamkholal Haokip (17) and his younger brother Sumkhosat Haokip sons of Sonthang Haokip of G Solung Village and Satkholun Haokip (15) son of Letkhai Haokip.

It may be noted that Kamkholal Haokip is a class X student of Salem Higher Secondary School while the two others were employees of a hotel near Pologround Imphal.

The other two hotel boys had come home as the next day, being Sunday, was a holiday.

Thangminlien during zero hour cited the example of an incident which happened a few days back, where personnel of 14 AR picked up a youth from his house and later shot him dead.

Informing the House that people residing along NH 39 have started spending the nights in huts built inside the jungles and other remote places due to the regular torture of AR personnel at night, the MLA questioned the Govt whether the Assam Rifles who had come to the State to maintain law and order was superior to the State Govt and questioned, if not, whether the excesses are committed under the instructions of the Chief Minister.

Drawing the attention of the House and the Home Minister in-charge, Thangminlien appealed for punishment of the guilty AR personnel after conducting a judicial inquiry and also urged to pay ex-gratia to the families of the victims.

Answering to another question raised during the Zero Hour with regard to the Sadar Hills bandh called in connection with the killings, the Chief Minister stated that instructions have been given to the DGP for conducting a probe into the matter.