TODAY -

Following the murder trail
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 19, 2009 -



The more one studies the circumstances under which the SDO of Kasom Khullen and five of his subordinates were abducted from the heart of Ukhrul district headquarters on February 13 and the officer along with his two subordinates were found bludgeoned to death at Senapati district, the more question arises.

Yes, lots of questions but so far no answers, unfortunately. Which route did the SDO and his captors take? As reported earlier in the State media, the Gypsy of the officer was seen last heading towards the direction of Siroy on the Ukhrul Jessami road.

Now it is more or less confirmed that the Gypsy of the late officer has been found abandoned, with a forged number plate at Mahadev on the Imphal Ukhrul road. The logical question that follows then is how did the Gypsy land up at Mahadev?

If the abductors and the late officer had taken the Imphal-Ukhrul road, then they would have had to make an entry at Lambui. On the other hand if they had taken the Old Ukhrul-Imphal road, even there an entry had to be made at Tolloi.

It is therefore important to check the registers maintained at these two posts. If this supposition is true then the abductors could have taken the Mahadev Tolloi road and then proceed to Senapati via the Phaibung road.

Inquiries made by The Sangai Express have revealed that there are no security posts along this road. On the other hand if the Gypsy was taken to Mahadev as a detour, to throw off any 'tail spotters' and the SDO and his men were taken along Jessami road then they would have to pass through security posts at Siroy and Awang Kasom, then pass through Paoi, Halang, Chingjaroy to reach Senapati.

These are all conjectures at the moment, but to to proceed with the investigation, we think we need to study how the SDO and his two men ended up being bludgeoned to death at Senapati district while they were abducted from the heart of Ukhrul town.

It is also imperative that the Government fix responsibilities. In other words, heads should roll. According to the account given by the wife of the late SDO, she received a call from the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul asking her to give the mobile number of her husband as he had seen them going towards Siroy and wanted to tell him to turn back. Any responsible officer should have immediately filed a report with the police but that this was not done so is now clear.

It is negligence by senior officers like this which can have a demoralising impact on the subordinates. The Government also need to study what responsibilities are being thrust on the shoulders of the junior officers by their seniors.

As the head of the district, we expect any Deputy Commissioner to take the lead in solving the myriad of complex issues that crop up from time to time.

However judging by the recent incident as well as looking back in the past, we will not be exaggerating things if we say that many of the senior officers have been shirking their responsibilities and exposing their junior officers to all the hazards.

This is unacceptable. It is imperative that the Government take up some measures to ensure the security of the junior officers, who are there out in the field.

As for the killers, though their identities are yet to come out in the open, what is clear it that it was the work of a well organised body which had the logistics and the necessary back up system to keep six abducted persons out of sight for four days. No disorganised body could have committed such an 'operation.'





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