IMPHAL, Mar 19: The brutal killing of 15 non-local labourers in the state by suspected militants at different areas has caused a panick among the non locals staying in the state.
Many of them have since decided to return to their native lands for their safety.
The incident has hurt the sentiments of many in the state. The state government has tightened security and requested all the non-locals not to leave the state assuring them they would be protected and peace would be restored in the state.
Speaking to IFP Amarnath Prasad of Bhojpur district in Bihar, whose younger brother Narayan Prasad was among the seven persons killed on March 17 at Mayang Imphal, said that the incident makes them shiver and has shocked them.
“I still can’t believe that my brother is no more with us. He was a very good person and was earning well to survive and maintain his family with his daily wages.”
Remembering the turn of events, he said that his brother along with his cousin Santosh Prasad stayed together in Kakching and earned their daily wages by working as hawkers, supplying masala in the villages.
On March 17, Narayan left home to supply masala in the villages without having his lunch and told them he would be back for dinner later.
But he failed to turn up till late in the night and in the morning it was confirmed that his brother was not anymore with them.
“The present situation has compelled us to want to return to our native places. We have decided to leave the state as soon as possible after cremating the bodies. We also request the government to ensure that such incidents are not repeated again in the state. The government should take up certain steps to secure the people like us who are outsiders who have come all the way from a long distance to earn something,” he said.
Santosh Prasad, the cousin of the victim, Narayan expressed that the murder of his brother had hurt him a lot. “He was very close to me and was the only one with whom I shared all my moments of joy and sorrow. This time we had planned to celebrate the Holi festival in a grand way. But everything has been shattered and I am left with grief at my brother’s killing,” he said grieving.
“I have decided to leave the state as soon as my brother is cremated here at Telipati. For the safety of our lives we have to leave the state. We can’t sacrifice our precious life staying here in the present atmosphere. Due to the incident we are very scared,” he said when asked about his future hopes and plans.
An atmosphere of gloom descended at the RIMS mortuary today as many families were left helplessly screaming and wailing after identifying the bodies of their dear ones.
Many of them sat silently in a corner thinking what went wrong that their brothers and relatives had to die in this manner.
Rahul, 12, who also belongs to Bhojpur district of Bihar lost his father Nagendra Shaab who was also among the seven victim who were gunned down by suspected militants at Mayang Imphal on March 17.
He told the IFP, “I know I am very young but I can understand that my father is not with us anymore. It is very strange that my father left in a situation where my mother is very close to giving birth to a child.”
He also said that he lived in Kakching along with his mother and three other brothers. At the moment his mother is pregnant and they were all happy for that. But soon as they got the news that their father was no more, a pall of gloom had descended in their family and his mother was the most affected.
“I don’t want to stay here anymore. I have lost my father and now I cannot see the killing of any more of our family members,” said Rahul.
Expressing their deep concern over the killing of non Manipuri people at various areas of Manipur a Hindustani Samaj, Imphal member told IFP that it was very shameful for the state. It should not be repeated again in the future. The government must take the matter seriously and should produce the culprits as soon as possible. The government should also give compensation to all the victims’ and families, he said.
The member also noted that they would not take the bodies back to their native states for cremation since it might cause communal riots. We want to bring peace rather than any kind of violence as we have been living in Manipur since childhood.
“Hum ne yaha ka pani piya hain aur namak khaya hain, aur hum par is desh ka udhar raha, isiliye hum itna toh kar sakte hain.” (We have been living here since our childhood and this state has given us so much. So at least we can do this much in return).
“The incident is very unfortunate and we want that it should not be repeated again in future. We are waiting to learn what the government decides for us and will not take up any wrong steps as we are so much attached to the people of Manipur.
“We still don’t know what went wrong with our brothers and why they have done something like this,” maintained the member.