NEW DELHI, Mar 19 : Describing as ‘’shameful’’ the killing of 14 Hindi-speaking migrant labourers in Manipur, the Union Minister of Home Affairs Shivraj Patil today assured that “strict action’’ would be taken against the people involved in the incident.
Replying to supple-mentaries in the Rajya Sabha, the Minister said, “Such incidents in the name of States, religion, language are happening in North Eastern, Southern and Western parts of the country. It is a deliberate design to destabilise the country and slow down the economic growth.’’
In a reply to CPM leader Brinda Karat’s query as to what strategy was being adopted to check such incidence, the Minister said State Governments had been asked to identify areas where such incidents could take place and also identify people who indulged in them to take anticipatory action.
“To protect innocent people police needs to take anticipatory action. Chief Ministers, bureaucrats and police officials of States have been asked to follow up and take action,’’ he added.
In Manipur, militants gunned down 14 migrant labourers, mostly from Bihar, since Monday night. Most of the bodies had a piece of paper stuck to them saying “go back to your home Gtates”.
Taking part in the discussion Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi today assured the Lok Sabha that the Centre would deal firmly with terrorism and the culprits involved in the murder of 14 Hindi speaking people in Manipur this week.
When the members of all parties raised concern over the spread of violence in the name of regionalism and language, the Minister said that he would convey the anguish of the members “directly” to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh whose Government was already seized of the matter and would take strict action against the perpetrators.
On the issue of terrorism, the House was one and there was no question of casting aspersions. It was a great concern for the House that there was a “selective target’’ in the case of Manipur, he said.
Raising the issue in the pre-lunch sitting, Ramjilal Suman (SP) said the Centre had failed to discharge its duty of protecting the integrity of the country. There is a parallel Government in Manipur. This was a very serious issue as similar violence had taken place in Assam and Maharashtra.
Shahnawaz Hussain (BJP) said the Union Home Ministry continued to remain a mute spectator to the violence against Biharis settled in various States.
Devendra Prasad Yadav (RJD) said terrorists were taking advantage of regional feelings of the people and sought a joint operation by the Centre and the Manipur Government.
Prabhunath Singh (JD-U) sought the removal of Mr Shivraj Patil as Home Minister and the convening of a meeting with Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Mohammed Salim (CPI-M) asked the Centre to treat the issue very seriously as there could be attacks on people of the North-East settled in various parts of the country.
Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) said the country would not remain united if killings were allowed to continue in the name of regionalism. He demanded an all-party meeting and immediate deployment of Central forces in Manipur and Assam.
Earlier, yesterday informing the Lok Sabha about the killing of 14 persons in Manipur during the Zero Hour, Dr Thokchom Meinya, MP from Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency urged the Union Government to intervene and extend all possible help and support to Manipur.
Dr Meinya said, “ We have many armed insurgent outfits operating in the North Eastern Region. In this region, even the official bungalows of the Ministers and MLAs are being attacked with grenades and bombs. Moreover, one grenade was thrown into the precinct of the Legislative Assembly of Manipur recently.”
He said that the situation appeared very acute and out of control. Not a single day passes without killings. In such a situation, the Centre should not become a silent spectator, he added.
Migrant workers killings
CM assures ex-gratia, House decries
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 19 : The Manipur State Assembly during its sitting has condemned the killings of non-Manipuris in the last three days by unidentified gunmen in the strongest term today.
Discussing the issue in the House today, Chief Minister O Ibobi who is also in charge of the Home portfolio stated that the Government has resolved to provide ex-gratia to the families of the victims in accordance to rules.
A call attention motion raised jointly by Opposition MLAs Radhabinod Koijam, O Joy and Dr Ng Bijoy on the slaying of seven wage earning non-Manipuri labourers at Hayel Hangun under Mayang Imphal station and seven others at different parts of the State was converted into a short duration discussion and the issue was discussed at length in the House.
Raising the motion in the House, Radhabinod denounced the massacre of the helpless non-Manipuris who were doing petty business or working as wage earners by engaging themselves in odd jobs.
Stating that he was deeply hurt and terrified by the carnage, Radhabinod remarked that the act demeans the image of Manipur in the view of other States.
Apprehensive of the possible repercussions on Manipuris working and studying in other States of India, Radhabinod observed that Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of all the States ought to be intimated to take up precautionary measures for the safety of Manipuris staying in their respective States.
He also urged the State Government to take up foolproof security measures ensure the protection of the lives and properties of non-Manipuris staying in the State.
Appealing to the Chief Minister to ensure proper functioning of the police outposts opened recently, Radhabinod asserted that no police men can be seen on the road after 10 pm.
The massacre of the non-Manipuris was the most barbaric and heartless act and it ought to be condemned by one and all, observed O Joy.
He also expressed apprehension that peoples of other States may perceive Manipuris in the most hostile manner and this may result in highly regrettable consequences.
Questioning the motive behind the carnage, Joy sought attention of the House to investigate into the faults and offence on the part of the victims, if there is any.
Joy further asked as to why police were unable to move to Hayel Hangul in time even as they had received information of the carnage committed there. He expressed strong reservations against the conduct of police.
“If police men who are maintaining law and order are unable to approach the site of crime, then who will take responsibility for maintaining law and order in the society”, asked Joy.
Alleging that DG Control phone was never picked up promptly and sometimes when it was picked, the one receiving the phone was found to be in inebriated condition, Joy proposed for an overall review of the functioning of State police.
Asking whether the unfortunate killing was a result of the threat posed to the indigenous people following massive influx of people from other States of India in the post merger period, Dr Ng Bijoy advocated for regulation of the influx through the Protected Area Permit system and the Restricted Area Permit system.
Calling upon the House to make a joint appeal against killing of non-Mani-puris any further, Morung Makunga urged upon the Government to beef up security measures in all the areas inhabited by non-Manipuris.
RK Anand and Dr I Ibohalbi noted the carnage was a shame for the whole Manipuri nation in front of the international community.
Taking part in the discussion, Chief Minister O Ibobi stated that the savage carnage should be condemned by the House in the strongest term.
No civilized nation would accept the massacre as an act of heroism. Arbitrary and wanton killing of the migrant workers is an ugly act of communalism, decried the Chief Minister.
Peeved with the silence of civil organisations and human rights bodies over the massacre, Ibobi questioned the integrity of these organisations.
Deeply concerned over the insecure situation, a large number of non-Manipuris were trying to leave the State in three trucks and three buses but they were persuaded not to leave the State at this volatile and tense situation. They were told to leave to State, if they must after two/three weeks when the situation returns to normal, Ibobi informed the House.
Moreover, on the request of the State Government not to take the corpses to their native States but to cremate here according to the rituals of their own religions with all possible assistance from the State Government, the corpse have not been taken to their States, Ibobi conveyed.
In addition to shifting non-Manipuris to safer places with enhanced security measures, the Government has decided to provide relief materials to these migrant workers and also to extend ex-gratia to the families of the deceased.
The Chief Minister conceded that the root cause of the carnage could not be established yet.
Taking serious note of the Merger Agreement of 1949 becoming a contentious issue in the State, Ibobi called upon all to point out if there is any flaw in the Agreement so that the same may rectified.
If there is any threat to the indigenous people, put it in tangible manner and boldly, Ibobi invited while appealing to all the members not to put oil in the burning fire.
“If the same act of killing non-locals and attaching a message on the back with the words, “Go back to your own States” is retaliated in the same manner by people of other States to Manipuris staying there, what would be the possible fall-out” the Chief Minister questioned while stating that efforts are on to eliminate all the murderers.
Under the prevailing circumstances, it is hard to ask the Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries and DGPs of other States to take up security measures for Manipuris staying there. Nevertheless, some Chief Ministers have been talked to on the matter, Ibobi informed the House.
He also assured to look into any failure on the part of the police so that the such blunders are avoided in future.
Concerning abduction of Government officials for ransom, the Chief Minister declared that the Government would never enter any negotiation to affect release of the abducted officials but would put in its best efforts to rescue the officials.
To check the recent trend of abduction, 42 new police outposts have been opened in greater Imphal area. Necessary steps have also been initiated to conduct frisking at these posts round the clock, Ibobi said.
Even though the commandos have been instruct- ed not to shoot while arresting any individual but to punish according to law, the commandos opened fire when their call to halt went unheeded, Ibobi clarified.
The commandos opened fire to protect themselves as UG cadres or armed persons firing at the commandos earlier would mean death of the commando personnel, he contended. Yet, precautionary measures have been taken up to avoid unwanted incidents in future, he added.
RPF condemns targeting migrant workers
‘Our fight is against GoI not Indians’
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 19 : Strong-ly condemning the syste- matic killings of migrant workers by unidentified gunmen during the last three days, the proscribed RPF today said that its fight is against the Government of India and not against all the Indians.
In a statement, the outfit today said that ever since it started its struggle, the RPF has made its stand clear on who its enemies are. The RPF has never taken the non-locals who are here to eke out a living by doing manual jobs, said the statement and added that it is the principle of the outfit not to view anything along communal divides.
The outfit had nothing to do with the killings of 14 migrant workers on March 17 and 18, said the statement and added that the views expressed by SP of Imphal West, L Kailun to the IANS news agencies, that the PLA is suspected to be behind the killings shows that he made the statement without verifying facts and without going into the details of the case.
It is unbecoming of a senior police officer to just name an outfit as a suspect without checking the facts, asserted RPF.
The PLA is the armed wing of the RPF.
Asserting that the RPF has been taking extra care to stick to the principles of a revolutionary movement, the statement said it is the only armed group in Manipur to sign Article 3 of the Fourth Protocol of the Geneva Convention.
The Government of India as well as countries friendly to Delhi are hell bent in trying to portray the genuine revolutionary movement in Manipur as terrorist activities, noted the outfit and added that such anti-revolutionary activities as killing migrant workers will amount to nothing but provide more bullets to Delhi to pursue their agenda of branding revolutionaries as terrorists. All concerned should think over this point seriously.
Following the brutal murder of Th Manorama by Assam Rifles personnel and the subsequent public uprising, the hated Armed Forces Special Powers Act was lifted from some parts of the State, recalled RPF.
Even now Delhi is waiting for the opportune moment to re-impose the said Act in the areas from where it has been lifted, observed RPF and added that it is imperative that the people of Manipur should be told whether the killings are in any way connected with the revolutionary movement or not.
As such the organi-sation concerned should clarify, said the statement.
Irrespective of community affiliation, the RPF condemns and will condemn any killing of innocent people, asserted the outfit.
Taking serious note of the rumours floating around following the killings of the migrant workers, the outfit urged the people not to spread rumours or ignite trouble.
Death toll of migrants rises to 15
By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Mar 19: The number of non-locals shot dead by unidentified armed persons in the four valley districts since March 17 has reached 15.
After 14 non-locals were found shot dead in different parts of the State till yesterday, one more non-local man was found shot dead at Pombikhok Chingya Mayai Leikai, about 13 kms South of Kumbi police station this morning.
According to information culled from the spot, the local villagers heard gun shots in the area at about 7.30 last night.
The deceased has been identified as Kabir alias Govind (38) of West Bengal. He was married to a Nepali girl from Serou and had two daughters and a son.
Kabir was a junk/scrap metal dealer at Sugnu Bazar.
The corpse has been retrieved by police and deposited at RIMS mortuary. A bullet which hit the right side of his head exited through the left side.
The seven victims of the Hayel massacre of March 17 have been identified as Alom Sheikh (30) s/o Sohobul Sheikh of West Bengal, staying at Telipati, Sarubjit (28) s/o Thakur Rai of Bihar, staying at Chingmeirong, Nagendra Saha (40) s/o late Bhogenlu Saha of Bihar, staying at Kakching, Narayan (40) s/o Sriniwaz Prasad of Bihar, staying at Kakching, Lalbabu Shah (36) s/o Jawahar of Bihar, staying at Telipati, Bikharipari (38) s/o Dipa Rai of Bihar, staying at Nagamapal Seram Leirak and Piyush Das (26) s/o Mohon Rai of North Tripura, staying at Kakching Wairi Senapati Leikai.
All the corpses have been handed over to family members and relatives after post mortem at RIMS.
Meanwhile, the identities of the migrant workers shot dead at Takhel in Imphal East district yesterday have been established as Nagendra Rai (26) s/o Sadhu Rai of Sitamarhi, Bihar, Madan Rai (26) s/o Naresh of Bihar and Ram Ishwar Shah (30) s/o Muhid Shah of Bihar.
Post mortem examinations of the corpses have been completed.
Those found dead at Keibi Kumuda have been identified as Santosh Prasad (26) s/o Bhagoti and W Pandit (26) s/o late Jugindra Pandit. Both of them belonged to Bihar.
Moreover, post mortem examination of the corpses of Bimol Das (23) s/o Botoi Das of Hailakan-di, Silchar and Shyamal Das (25) s/o Nikhil Das of Nagaon, Assam found shot dead near Indrani Cinema Hall at Kakching Khunyai yesterday have also been conducted at Lilong PHC.
The Sangai Express