Tipnis remanded to five day custody
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 31: Adding another twist to the abduction drama of German national Heinrich Wolfgang, Lamlai police yesterday picked up the Chairman of the Volunteers for Village Development, Yashwant Tipnis on charges of violating the Protected Area restrictions.

The German national who was abducted near Maphou Dam in Imphal East on March 23 did not have the requisite permission to enter Imphal East district, disclosed well placed sources and Tipnis was picked up by the police for taking Wolfgang to Imphal East.

Well placed sources said that Tipnis has been remanded to five day custody.

He will be produced before a Court on April 5.Meanwhile the visa granted to Wolfgang to stay in Manipur expired on March 28 and the State Home Department is mulling over the possibility of formally extending the visa.

However there is no official confirmation.

The source further said that Tipnis is being questioned why the German national was taken to Imphal East without the requisite permission.

Meanwhile numerous appeals continue to pour in for the safe release of the abducted German national.

A number of Kuki civil societies including the Kuki Peoples' Forum, Kuki Movement for Human Rights arid Kuki Church Leaders have appealed for the safe and early release of the German national who was abducted by the Kuki Liberation Army near Maphou Dam on March 23.In a statement, the Kuki civil organizations said that Wolfgang is an Evangelist working for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden.

The Kuki bodies have therefore appealed to the KLA to safely release the abducted man without any condition.

The Families of the Involuntarily Disappeared's Assn, Manipur (FIDAM) has fervently appealed to the Kuki Liberation Army to release Heinrich Wolfgang who was abducted by its cadres on March 23 near Maphou Dam.

Appealing for good sense to prevail, FIDAM in a statement today said that hostage taking is a violation of not only domestic laws but also contravenes international humanitarian laws as stated in Article 3 (b) of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.The abduction of Heinrich Wolfgang who was here to over see the development projects taken up under funding from Germany will not deliver any good but bring a bad name to Manipur and the struggles of its people, added the statement.

FIDAM has also sent a fax message to the family members of the abducted German national assuring the Wolfgang family that the people of Manipur would stand by them in this hour of crisis.

The Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA) has demanded early release of the foreigner on humanitarian unconditionally.

On the other hand, various social organizations of Ukhrul district have come out strongly against the KLA militants who are still keeping German National Heinrich Wolfgang under the custody after he was abducted on March 23 from Moirang Purel.

Human Rights Vigil, Ukhrul; Oikos Protection Forum; Centre for Public Education, Information and Communication and Consumer Club, Ukhrul during a joint emergency meeting held today at Phungreithang, Ukhrul strongly condemned the abduction and asserted that it has done tremendous damage and irreparable loss to the entire population of the State.

It was a matter of great shock to every citizen of Manipur in particular and the North East in general that Heinrich Wolfgang who visited the remote villages in an endeavor to mitigate the grievances of hapless sections of the society was kidnapped on March 23 and is still being detained for reasons best known to the abductors, the meeting resolution observed, inviting the conscience of the militant group responsible for abduction of Wolfgang to juxtapose the rationality of its action against the interest of the people living in the region.

The joint sitting urged upon the militant group to release the captive unharmed on humanitarian ground.

The joint sitting also conveyed its concern and sympathy to the family all the members of Wolfgang's family and his organization.