Victims refuse to meet Minister
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 07: Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has assured the angst filled and infuriated people of the State that his Government is doing its utmost to punish the culprits of Piphema incident and make NH-39 free from possible recurrence of such incidents in future, though he failed to spell out exactly the kind of security measures to be taken up along the National Highway to make it safe.

Talking to mediapersons at his office chamber this evening, Ibobi said that on hearing the unfortunate incident he instantly tried to contact his Nagaland counterpart over the phone, but he could not get him on the line.

Conceding that the Piphema incident is not an isolated case, the Chief Minister said such incidents have forced the people of Manipur to look for an alternative route.

He said his Government had decided to send a team of Ministers and MLA to Nagaland today itself in connection the Piphema incident, but as there was formal complaint from the side of the supposed rape victim, the plan was cancelled in the eleventh hour.

However, an official team led by DIG R Mishra has left for Nagaland today, he informed.

Replying to a question, Ibobi informed that he had deputed Labour Minister Z Mangaibou to meet the supposed rape victims early morning today and ascertain the facts about the incident but the girls declined to meet the Minister.

Supplementing the Chief Minister's reply GAD Minister Francis Ngajokpa said though the girls refused to meet the Minister the elders of the family, however told him that the girls have admitted to molestation, but not rape.

Curiously, Z Mangaibau was not present during the press meet to tell the account himself.

On queries what response the Union Home Minister has given to his message faxed yesterday, Ibobi replied that he has not received any reply from the Home Minister so far.

However, he reiterated that the State Government has urged the Nagaland Government to probe the incident and make the National Highway safe for passengers.

Principal Secretary (Home) DS Poonia who is also in-charge of Chief Secretary has sent a message in this regard, the Chief Minister said.

Copies of the message were distributed to the media persons.