TODAY -
JAC says yes to last rites, but no to final truce
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 22 2009: Total agreement continues to elude between the JAC formed in connection with the killing of the Kasom Khullen SDO and two sub-ordinate staff and the State authorities.

Despite this, the JAC has agreed to claim the bodies for performing the last rites tomorrow.

With the previous meeting between representatives of the JAC and the State Government some days back ending without any breakthrough on the matter the second round of talks held today also failed to completely settle the deadlock, though the issue of claiming the bodies has been agreed upon.

Talking to newspersons at Manipur Press Club today, JAC chairman Soram Tiken said agitation in connection with the brutal murder of SDO Dr Th Kishan, his driver Aribam Rajen Sharma and Revenue Department employee (Mandal) Y Token would be sustained as the Government is yet to honour some 'important demands' of the JAC even though few others had been assured.

During the media briefing organised after meeting the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, the chairman said families of the deceased persons and the JAC have softened their stand and would claim the bodies for performing the last rites tomorrow.

He also disclosed of the CM's assurance to initiate criminal proceedings against the Deputy Commissioner (Ukhrul) Pankaj Kumar Pal and others based on findings of the ongoing investigation to ascertain whether the DC or other individuals were in any way responsible for the death of the three.

The CM apart from being vague to a JAC poser regarding the investigation procedure in terms of time limit, also declined to disclose to the JAC members information so far extracted from the three other surviving Government employees with the assertion that probe is yet to be completed, Tiken said.

As had been already agreed in principle the Chief Minister is said to have assured that the JAC's demand for setting up anti-terrorism park in memory of the victims at the place of cremation, Taphou as well as at Ukhrul would be fulfilled.

Nevertheless, the CM asked the JAC members to identify a site at Lamphelpat area for development of the memorial park contrary to the body's choice for the same at Gandhi Ghat, near Cheirap Court.

Desire of the bereaved families for performing religious rites of the trio's remains coupled with the Government's process to dispose the corpses in case family members do not claim them are said to be decisive factors for the JAC rescinding from its earlier stance against claiming the bodies.

Chipping in, a JAC convenor Y Khemchand mentioned that inspite of taking into custody the three surviving employees the masses denied information extracted from the trio is only aggravating the situation and infuriating the people.

He also cautioned that the Government would be held responsible in case any undesired consequences arise out of the issue.


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