TODAY -
CM convenes high level security meet while...
Gunmen mow down woman CDPO
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 14: Even as Chief Minister O Ibobi convened a high level security meet today at his office chamber to discuss the law and order situation in the State, a woman Child Development Project Officer of the Social Welfare Department was shot dead by KCP (Military Council) cadres inside her office chamber at the Integrated Child Development Society (ICDS), Moirang Block located at Moirang Bazar at around 11.40 am today.

The victim has been identified as Yangambam Ningol Saikhom Ongbi Rasheswari (55), w/o late Saikhom Brajagopal of Kha-Imphal Keisham Leikai.

She was the Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) at the office of ICDS, Moirang Block.

It may be recalled here that her husband Saikhom Brajagopal, who was an independent candidate in the General Election of 1980, too was shot dead by some people who claimed themselves to be KCP activists at their Pukhao residence on May 24, 1981.

The head office of the Social Welfare being locked up to protest the killing of Rasheswari


According to family sources, after the morning meal and other usual household chores, Rasheswari left for office by boarding a passenger bus today morning.

After a long leave from duty, she started going to office since yesterday.

Issuing of the offer forms to the newly appointed workers and helpers of Angawandi centres from the Moirang Block ICDS office started since yesterday and was continuing today.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of issuing the offer forms, employees of the office heard gun shots from the direction of the office chamber of the CDPO and when they looked towards that direction saw an unidentified armed youth coming out from the office hurriedly and leaving the office complex immediately.

Another youth reportedly waited outside.

Afterwards, they found CDPO Rasheswari lying in a pool of blood inside her office chamber.

She was rushed to the nearest Moirang CHC for treatment, but was declared brought dead.

Moirang Police brought her body to the mortuary of RIMS Hospital for post-mortem examination much later in the afternoon today.

However, as the family members have refused to take back the body, the same is still lying in the mortuary.

Apart from one bullet that was shot at her right chest remaining lodged inside her body, another bullet that was shot from the back of her head exited through near the right side jaw.

At around noon today, an unidentified person who identified himself as an activist of the KCP (MC) telephoned the press claiming the responsibility for the killing.

When asked for the reason, the unidentified person, however, declined to do so by saying that it would be provided tomorrow.

Soon after hearing the news of the killing of CDPO Rasheswari, employees closed down the head office of Social Welfare Department and went on a cease work strike in protest.

Talking to reporters, aggrieved employees said that the killing of Rasheswari has shown that there is no truth and respect for women employees in Manipur.

Such killings would not only create fear psychosis among 162 thousand field employees working in 8000 Anganwadi Centres under the ICDS project in Manipur, but would also discourage other CDPOs of 34 Blocks in both the hills and valley districts to go out in the field to work.

Condemning the killing of CDPO Rasheswari in the strongest term, Social Welfare Minister Nameirakpam Loken has stated it would be have been better if the gunman had targeted him instead of an innocent lady employee.

Talking to mediapersons at RIMS morgue, Loken, who had earlier gone to inspect the site of the crime at Moirang, said the killers have not yet been identified and there is no report of any arrest made in this regard.

He also assured of taking up necessary measures in connection with the killing of Rasheswari in consultation with Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.

Responding to a question on steps he would be taking up in case the situation remains the same in the Social Welfare Department, the Minister said the functioning of the Department is being affected for the last few days.

Government alone would not be able to resolve the matter.

It would be possible only if the people extend their full co-operation to the Government, the Minister added.

On the other hand even as the killing of the woman officer sent shock waves across the State and amidst the increasing tirade from dissident MLAs currently camping at Delhi against the alleged total break-down in the law and order situation of the State, Chief Minister O Ibobi today chaired a meeting of high ranking civil and police officials at his office.

The meeting which focused on the security situation of the State as the main agenda was attended by Chief Secretary Jarnail Singh, DGP Y Joykumar, IG (L/O-I), IG (L/O-II), IG (Intelligence) and SPs of the four valley districts.

It is reported that the meeting deliberated on curtailing activities of underground organisations and to intensify counter insurgency operations at the same time.

A high ranking police officer informed the press that today's security review meeting was by and large general.

The meeting assumes significance as the meeting was held after Chief Minister O Ibobi had announced through the media a few days back that there would be visible improvement in the law and order situation of the State within six months.

As part of the steps taken up by the Govt to clip the wings of the armed outfits, the Chief Secretary had also instructed police officials to take up stringent action against Govt employees, contractors and suppliers if they are found diverting State fund to UG groups.


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