NSCN (IM) claims abduction
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, February 17: The NSCN-IM has claimed responsibility for the abduction of Khangthuanang Panmei, an Independent candidate in the fray from Tamenglong Assembly Constituency in the ensuing Assembly Election of Manipur.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Tamenglong said Khangthuanang has been released by his abductors but hastened to add that the candidate was yet to reach the district headquarters.

When NNN contacted DC Athui Pamei, the IAS officer said that he was informed by his higher authority about the release of the candidate.the Deputy Commissioner added that he was also trying to get more details on the development.

On the otherhand, furnishing reasons for the abduction, NSCN-IM MIP Deputy Kilonser Kraibo Chawang informed that Khangthuanang had been creating law and order problems in Tamenglong headquarters for some time now.

Chawang alleged that a gang organised by Khangthuanang Panmei had completely damaged a vehicle belonging to the Zeliangrong Union (ZU) in addition to life attempts upon some high dignitaries of GPRN/NSCN-IM and Zeliangrong Region by the gang at the behest of Khangthuanang.

The NSCN-IM leader further alleged that the Independent candidate had also organised an anti-people rally in Tamenglong which was also against the Naga issue.

While iterating that the abduction has no connection with election matters, he asserted that Khangthuanang would be released only after an apology on the his alleged criminal activities.

The election camp of UNC�s consensus candidate from Tamei A/C Awangbow was attacked by the said gang, said Chawang who also lamented that numerous criminal activities had been carried out by Khangthuanang and his supporters but the district administration intentionally remained silent thereby allowing the �criminals to go scot-free who are taking law into their hands�.

�So things have become too much and such that the NSCN/GPRN has to act to keep the social atmosphere in order and hence the arrest of Khangthuanang Panmei,� reasoned Kraibo Chawang.

He further alleged that all activities of the supporters of Khangthuanang and the candidate himself are criminal in nature.

Kraibo Chawang cautioned that anyone fomenting trouble and creating uneasy atmosphere would be dealt with sternly.

Meanwhile, the outfit has also refuted reports carried in some daily newspapers that a brother of MLA Z Mangaibou along with two other supporters of the MLA had been abducted by the NSCN-IM and confined in its custody.

Clarifying the reports, Cease-fire Monitoring Cell member MK Winning said that Kikhonbou alias Khangsabou, a brother of MLA Z Mangaibou, a Congress candidate for Tamei A/C, Tadoubou and Takiubou, both Congress party workers and supporters of the MLA were �stopped and asked� some questions by the NSCN-IM but �we did not abduct nor put them into our custody as reported in some newspapers�.

MK Winning also said that the NSCN-IM did not harass nor had its cadres committed any wrong doing against the three Congress workers.

�It has become a matter of necessity that the NSCN needed to question the three supporters of Z.Mangaibou so we did,� claimed the NSCN-IM leader.