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SoO signatory KNA/KNO ransack Nongshum village
Published on 2 Sep. 2009 12:54 AM IST
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After armed cadres of KNO/KNA, which is a signatory of Suspension of Operation (SoO), beat up all the men of Nongshum village and ransacked their houses last night, the panic stricken villagers were forced to flee to neighbouring villages to take refuge for the night. According to information collected from the site of the incident, yesterday at around 5 pm, around 50 armed cadres of KNO/KNA came to Nongshum village and beat up all the men after dragging them out of their houses. The armed cadres came from the side of neighbouring village of Khamenlok in Senapati district, according to Sinlung website. Apart from beating up all the men, they also broke down the doors and ransacked over 20 houses till 8 pm. Fearing for their lives, the panic stricken villagers of Nongshum fled to Uyumpok to take refuge for the night. It may be recalled here there had been report of exchange of fire between UG suspects and a combined force of Imphal East District Police Commandos and personnel of Assam Rifles at Khamenlok area in the afternoon of last Saturday. To discuss and resolve last night’s incident, some village elders of Khamenlok area reportedly came down to Nongshum village today morning. Even as no resolution could be arrived at, infuriated villagers of Nongshum detained a passenger mini bus coming from the side of Khamenlok. The mini bus was heading for Imphal when the incident took place. Not long after the passengers, who got down from the mini bus, returned to Khamenlok side, around 20 armed cadres of KNO/KNA reportedly come to Nongshum village and opened blank fire. On seeing the return of the armed cadres and in view of the charged atmosphere, villagers of Nongshum who started returning home again fled to Uyumpok. It was only after the police teams led by SDPO of Imphal East Birbabu Singh and Assam Rifles troops descended at Nongshum area that the villagers returned to their houses. Some womenfolk of Khamenlok who were present at Nongshum informed that the firing exchange of Saturday afternoon, some armed persons (they did not say spell out who they were) thrashed many villagers including students. However, instead of narrating the true account of the incident, the womenfolk insisted on forbidding mediapersons from taking photopgraphs. Meanwhile, a public meeting which was also attended by villagers of Khamenlok, Nongshum and Uyumpok areas has resolved not only to appeal to the armed groups to ensure such incidents do not recur but also to maintain peace and harmony among the people. Furthermore, the meeting resolved to face together any challenge to the peace and tranquillity of the area and approach the SoO monitoring cell for compensation to the destruction caused in Nongshum village. The meeting also decided to release the detained mini bus and allow it to carry on normal service. In connection with the incident, SDPO Birbabu conveyed that the villagers of both Nongshum and Khamenlok are being harassed by armed UG cadres but the armed UG cadres responsible for beating up the villagers of Nongshum belong to one of the SoO signatories. At the interest of the villagers, efforts would be made to cover the area under police patrolling, he added.

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