Manipur: The recent killing of three government officials allegedly by the militant outfit NSCN (I-M) has unleashed a chain of unrest in Manipur.
Manipur has been burning since last week. Protests, marches and dharnas, all to condemn the brutal murder of a sub-divisional officer and two of his staff in the Ukhrul district of the state.
The bodies of Thingnam Kishan, his driver and a staff of his department, who were allegedly kidnapped on February 13, were found in the Senapati district completely disfigured. A blood soaked stone and a spade have been presumed as the weapons that were used to kill them.
The general belief is they were abducted by cadres of NSCN (IM) on charges of various misappropriations.
However, the real motive remains unknown. On the ground, we were told that Kishan was opposing diversion of development funds by extortionists.
NSCN (IM) has said that one of its leaders carried out the killings without the consent of the outfit, a statement that has triggered violent protests.
A staff of SDO said, “He (Thingnam Kishan) had a good service record and has no offense whatsoever, even if he has committed a crime, he should have given warning. Why a human being could be killed like animal. If such good people who are working sincerely irrespective of hills and valley are killed in such way, Manipur will be rule by robber and crooks in future.”
Dr Kishan, once a student of Jamia Milia Islamia University, is survived by his wife and a nine-month old daughter. She demands criminal proceedings should be initiated against the DC of Ukhrul district. On February 17, a joint action committee was formed to protest the killing, called a 48 hours general strike. The strike paralysed the state with widespread violence compelling the state government to impose curfew from the evening of February 19.
The curfew has only been lifted during daytime now.
Congress MLA, Hemochandra said, "NSCN-IM is a banned organisation. We don't have anything to do with them. They have claimed to have caught the culprits. That is in their purview. The culprits should be booked according to our own law."
On 23rd February, after an agreement of the joint action committee with the state government, the bodies were taken for cremation. In their last march, Imphal witnessed a wave of people with placards and banners protesting the brutal murders.
The agitation continues with a deadline for the state government not to allow any camps of the militant outfit NSCN (IM) in the state.
(With inputs from Bijoykrishna Aribam)