Sadar Hills issue come back to haunt Govt again
2 vehicles including one oil tanker burnt, escort vehicle runs over one, bandh extended to Jul 15

Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 12: Even as the indefinite economic blockade imposed by ANSAM is still on, the three day bandh called by the Sadar Hills District Demand Committee from midnight of July 10 took an ugly turn today with two vehicles being burnt, while one Gypsy was substantially damaged by suspected bandh supporters.

To add to the anger of the bandh supporters, security escort party which left Imphal yesterday evening to escort the stranded vehicles on NH-39 due to the economic blockade, ran over a youth at Keithelmanbi Military colony yesterday.

To protest the death of the youth, the SHDDC has decided to extend the bandh till midnight of July 15.The decision to extend the bandh was taken during a meeting attended by members of SHDDC, Kuki Inpi and village chiefs.

Other than extending the bandh, the meeting also decided not to accept any ex-gratia and to carry on with their agitation until their demands are met.

The meeting also decided to let post mortem be conducted and to perform the last rites as per religious and customary practices.

Earlier the bandh was to be in force only till July 13 midnight.

The body of the deceased was yet to be claimed by the people and even today it was lying at the eastern side of NH-39.The deceased has been identified as Lalneinlun Sitlhou (22) of Keithelmanbi Military colony.

To escort the stranded vehicles a combined force of Manipur Rifles, IRB and State Police left Imphal yesterday.

Local people said that a vehicle of the escort party knocked down Sitlhou while he was standing on the eastern side of the highway.

The security personnel did not even care to look back but drove away they said adding that the incident took place at about 7.30 pm yesterday.

Lalneinlun died at the spot and he was killed about just 50 metres away from his house.

As news of his death spread, the people decided to intensify the bandh and today a large horde of people, including women came out on the road to enforce the bandh more effectively.

The people were armed with sticks and catapults to penalise any bandh violators.

They also raised slogans demanding the upgradation of Sadar Hills to a full fledged revenue district.

When Kangpokpi police went to the spot to retrieve the body, they were not allowed to do so by the bandh supporters.

According to police, Lalneinlun was not knocked down by a security vehicle but by a civil truck accompanying the escort team.

The security team managed to escort back 48 stranded trucks to Imphal today morning.

One diesel laden vehicle MN05-2631 however suffered a tyre puncture while the team was nearing Yaikhongpao in Sadar Hills area.

Soon after suspected bandh enforcers arrived at the place where the tanker was stranded in a Canter and set it on fire.

The vehicle carrying 12 kilolitres of diesel was driven by one Laxmi Lama of IT road Thonglan and it had lifted the fuel from Tinsukia.

When Fire Brigade personnel from Kangpokpi arrived at the scene major portion of the vehicle had been burnt.

One Gypsy carrying five women passengers was substantially damaged when bandh supporters attacked the vehicle at Keithelmanbi Military colony.

The Gypsy was bound for Imphal from Senapati carrying five women students of Central Agriculture University College of Horticulture and Forest at Arunachal Pradesh.

The five women are presently staying at a house at Kangpokpi together.

Bandh supporters also targeted one Maruti car at Kangpokpi bazar today at about 2.30 pm.

The car was stoned and was set on fire.

However timely intervention by CRPF personnel on duty at the bank saved the vehicle from getting burnt.

Two persons were arrested by the CRPF in connection with the incident.

The car belongs to one Karam Yaima of Bishnupur and presently serving as the Principal of SD Jain Higher Secondary School at Dimapur.

The car was driven by his son Arun and was headed for Imphal for medical treatment of Yaima.