4 hill dists erupt in flames after IRB men shoot civilian
Govt has closed all avenues for talks : ANSAM; UNC dubs Jun 18 declaration as accelerating the disintegration of Manipur

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 09: The four Naga dominated hill districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Chandel erupted in protest today after some IRB men shot a civilian and severely assaulted another man at Senapati district headquarters yesterday.

In a late night statement, ANSAM claimed one man was shot dead by IRB personnel.

To protest the incident, a number of Government offices were burnt at the four hill districts, while the All Naga Students' Association, Manipur, has imposed a 48 hour bandh from today (Saturday) to give a new twist to the already enforced economic blockade on NH-39 and NH-53.Trouble began when some IRB men in civvies got into a verbal duel with some civilians at Senapati bazar last night at about 9, said sources.

Both the parties were in an inebriated state.

As the argument heated up, the two sides nearly came to blows and the IRB men rushed back to their post and after putting on their uniform and getting hold of their guns, they rushed out.

The IRB men then accosted two persons, who were not involved in the earlier verbal duel, and fired at one of them, identified as Stephen.

The other was assaulted.

The two were later rushed to Naga Hospital at Kohima.

As news of the incident spread, MLA Henry Paotei rushed to Senapati district headquarters to take stock of the situation.

SENAPATI: Incensed over the shooting incident a huge crowd gathered at the district headquarters today demanding that the two IRB men be handed over to them so that they may be tried according to Naga customary laws.

Police had to resort to firing in the air to disperse the crowd and bring the situation under control.

A number of passenger buses which were caught unaware by the sudden imposition of the bandh and the new development were also stoned by bandh supporters.

A large number of buses coming from Guwahati and Dimapur were made to stop at Mao Gate by the police, while buses leaving for Guwahati and Dimapur from Imphal were turned back from Sekmai area and Kangpokpi today.

Addressing the media at Senapati's Broadway complex, vice president of ANSAM, Ngachonmi Chamroy said that the State Government has closed all avenues for talks to fructify by sending in para-military force and IRB men to quell the non-co-operation movement launched by the student body to demand the revocation of the State Holiday on June 18.Without any provocation, Th Stephen (38) a teacher at Liyai village was shot and grievously wounded by IRB man, Gojendro Singh (24), said Chamroy and added that another civilian O Hrineei (31) was also severely assaulted.

Two farmers were also severely beaten up by the IRB men, said the student leader and named them as Tuiba (37) and Phupa (28) of Maram.

The IRB men also used derogatory words against the victims.

Another blockade supporter was also severely thrashed at Mao gate by CRPF personnel, said Chamroy and added that ANSAM will intensify its stir until and unless the Government revokes its June 18 declaration first.

Speaking to The Sangai Express Naga Peoples' Organisation president Dilli Mao said that the IRB men exceeded all human behaviour and added that the people of Senapati are against their continued deployment at the dist headquarters.

Former president of UNC Paul Leo blasted the conduct of the IRB men and stated that their conduct is similar to the Assam Rifles personnel.

He also accused the Ibobi Singh led Govt of being a puppet at the hands of a particular organisation.

The office of the AE PWD at Senapati District Headquarters has also been gutted in a devastating fire allegedly set by suspected economic blockade supporters this afternoon.

UKHRUL: Ukhrul district headquarters literally burnt today with a large number of Government offices razed to the ground while files and documents of other departments were set on fire.

Sources said that a huge mob first burnt the PWD office and razed it to the ground.

The crowd fist started stoning the office and then in their bid to control the situation, Manipur Rifles personnel fired in the air.

Two persons were injured in the incident, said sources adding that this enraged the mob all that more prompting them to set the office on fire.

Fire Brigade personnel who rushed to the spot could not bring the fire under control as they ran out of water, said sources.

Newmai News Network reports that three youths were seriously wounded in Ukhrul as IRB personnel opened fire as the youths tried to torch the DC office.

The youths have been identified as Hormi of Lungthar village, Temiso of Thungcham and Joyson.

A bullet passed through Hormi�s shoulder while another bullet pierced through Temiso�s neck.

They were reportedly in critical condition in one of the Ukhrul hospitals.

The arson then spread to the DC office, Agriculture office and Horticulture office.

Computers and discs at the DC office were totally burnt.

Earlier in the day a huge public meeting was held at Tangkhul Naga Long Ground organised by the Tangkhul Naga Long and attended by representatives of UNC, TMNL etc.

The offices of the Education Dept, Fishery, SDO, Forest, and Co-operative were also attacked and substantially damaged.

All the files and documents of the Education Dept office, Fishery and SDO were burnt.

Four/five persons were injured in today's incident, said sources adding that the condition of one of them is critical.

The Chief Medical Officer of Ukhrul is also currently out of station and with not enough doctors on duty, the bulk of the injured and those needing medical treatment have been admitted to Leishiphung hospital, a private institution.

CHANDEL: Suspected economic blockade supporters burnt down the offices of SDO, BDO, Forest and Sericulture at Chandel district headquarters at around 1.10 pm today.

As there is no fire brigade office at the Chandel district headquarters, fire fighters from far-off Kakching Fire Brigade were called in, only to find the offices already being reduced to cinders in the devastating fire.

According to reports received from Chandel district, the alleged blockade supporters broke the glass-panes of the doors and windows of the offices and threw petrol dipped loaves of bread before setting the offices on fire.

The arsonists also set on fire the Revenue and Horticulture Dept offices but timely intervention by the local people managed to put out the fire before it could do any substantial damage to the buildings.

Our correspondent adds: The offices of SDO and BDO which have been reduced to ashes in the devastating fire are attached to the same building.

PS Jamuni who works as a cashier in the BDO claimed that a sum of Rs 25,000 meant for paying salary to three employees were destroyed in the fire.

According to RT Hringlun who works as an Assistant Agriculture Officer in the BDO office, properties worth Rs 10 lakhs including 6 Iron almirahs (Godrej), 5 wooden almirahs, 2 type writers and documents have been reduced to ashes in the fire.

The fire also spread to the quarters belonging to E Heramani who is a peon in the BDO office.

But timely action by the people manage to put out the fire.

However in the ensuing melee, a Gas cylinder and six utensils were found stolen.

TAMENGLONG: The offices of the DIO, SDO, Fisheries and Statistics at Tamenglong District Headquarters were also reportedly set on fire by the blockade supporters at around 3 pm today.

However, timely arrival of the security forces managed to save the DC office, Tamenglong.

The arsonists had already set the office on fire but timely intervention saved the office from suffering any major damage.

The DC T Panmei is currently out of station, said sources.

The furniture of the DC office and windows and walls were smashed beyond redemption, reports NNN.

Following these unprecedented violent incidents, security has been alerted and patrolling intensified in all the district headquarters.

In view of the deteriorating law and order condition, the four District Magistrates of Chandel, Senapati, Ukhrul and Tamenglong have also clamped restriction under Cr PC 144 in their respective jurisdiction with effect from this afternoon.

Police personnel also carried out publicity campaign using loud speakers to caution the people against assembly of more than five persons and carrying weapons in public places.

Till late in the evening, there is no report of any arrest of the arsonists.

UNC issues call to Naga people: United Naga Council (UNC) has condemned the Govt of Manipur for alleged deliberate requisitioning of armed forces to disrupt the ANSAM sponsored economic blockade without any genuine concern to address the core issue and shooting of two unarmed activists of ANSAM at Senapati on July 8 at 9.30 pm by IRB personnel.

In a statement, UNC asserted that the declaration of June 18 as a State Holiday by the Government is a step against the wishes and aspiration of the Naga people to live together as a united family.

But due to myopic policy of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and his colleagues, June 18 will go down in history as a landmark that accelerated the disintegration of Manipur.