Irabot's mission foiled; Minister's Jeep hijacked
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 27 2010: Following threats from NSCN (IM), people of Noney area today failed to turn up and welcome the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Y Irabot who reached there as part of his "goodwill mission".

A Jeep following the Minister's cavalcade in the rear has been hijacked by some suspected activists of NSCN (IM) forcing the occupants of the vehicle to get down and walk away near the bridge at Noney.

The Jeep (MNP 806) was coming in the rear of the minister's cavalcade.

All the 10 occupants of the vehicle were later picked up from Kotlein.

They have reached Imphal safely.

Minister Irabot on his second day of the goodwill mission today reached Noney Bazar at about 11.10 am.

As soon as the Minister arrived there, all shops in the Bazar were closed down when around five youths asked to close down.

When asked the reason about shutting down the shops, residents of the area said that before the minister's arrival, in the morning a meeting was called by NSCN(IM) which the outfit dictate them not to hold interaction with the minister with warnings to take action to those who defy the dictate.

The closed fear of possible dare consequence, they said.

Kabui women taking part in the minister's tour from Imphal convinced the people that they were coming for talks and will be backed after the talks, the residents instead of giving positive reply asked their names.

All efforts to hold talks with the people went there in vain.

Later, the minister and his accomplices entered to the IB at the uphill of Noneh Bazar where AR arranged some refreshment for the visiting team.

When the team members were taking rest at the IB, some women of the area came up and requested not to stay longer in the area despite repeated appealed to hold talk with some village chiefs by the team.

They openly informed that it will not be possible as they were under threat from the NSCN (IM).

The minister team came back and the minister held briefing to the reporters at his residence at Ayangpali road.

While briefing to the reporters, the minister informed that one vehicle accompanied the tour has been hijacked by some suspected NSCN (IM) from Noneh Bazar.

He was informed over telephone further that the occupants of the Jeep where left behind at Kotlein safe and sound.

The minister immediately sent his escort to take back the 10 occupants.

According to the occupants, the vehicle was hijacked when they proceeded to Noneh Bazar without knowing that the minister team had already left the place and staying at the IB.

When they were proceeding to the Noneh Bazar, two youths in a motorcycle asked the vehicle to drive upto a place after crossing the Noneh Bazar and stopped.

They asked all the occupants to step down from the vehicle and left the place.

They also told them that they were hijacking the vehicle not because of any hatred with the minister but they hate the Chief Minister and asked Ibobi to give another one in place of the vehicle, they took away.

When the occupants informed the Assam Rifles personnel on duty there, they refused to act and asked them to negotiate at their level.

Helpless to the act, they left the place on a vehicle they hired and reached Kotlein.

From there they were picked up by the escorts of the minister.

Later, speaking to reporters, minister Irabot said that he will continue his goodwill mission in the hill areas stating that he had conducted the mission in the valley area yesterday.

He further said that, he had sought additional escorts, but Chief Minister, who is also looking after the charge of home department but no reply on providing the additional security personnel failed to receive.

He demanded a reply for not sending additional escort from the chief minister.

Even though no additional escort provided he will continue with his mission, the minister but the instants of hijacking of vehicle and attacking to the trucks has showed that home department could not maintained the law and order situation of the state.

However, he reported the matter of hijacking to the home department, Irabot said.