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Ukhrul villagers to attend military court
Correspondent Shillong, Jul 1 (NPN):
Published on 1 Jul. 2010 11:48 PM IST
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Four villagers from Ukhrul arrested earlier in March by Myanmarese troop will appear again at military court at Tamu in Myanmar on Friday.
The four men, all hailing from Kangpat village, were allegedly arrested on March 8 while ferrying timber from Indo-Myanmar border in Ukhrul. The villagers, identified as Ngalo Ningshen, Themson Chitung, Sangreiyo Keishing and Maanurim Keishing, are currently lodged in jail in Tamu. “They have attended several hearings, but there is no substantial outcome so far,” Ramayon, a brother of Ningshen, told this correspondent over the phone from Moreh.
Ramayon, who frequently met the prisoners and arranged food for them, said the prisoners are in living in pathetic condition and denied basic needs. “They were not even provided food by the jail authorities, and have to bear their own food expense.”
Sources said the military Junta have arrested the villagers for stealing timber from Myanmarese territory. However, the Kangpat village authorities refuted the smuggling charge and alleged that they were arrested from Indian Territory.
In mid May, the Indian ambassador in Rangoon Aloke Sen had met the villagers in Tamu jail and assured them for early release.
Earlier, the Manipur home department had sent a missive to the Union home ministry requesting for the matter to be taken up with the Myanmarese authority.
Even after many hearings have yielded no progress, family members now fear for the worst. In the past there have been many instances where the border villagers from Ukhrul were released only after 20-25 years detention in Myanmar’s jail. Among the arrested included a minor Maanurim Keishing, a 14-year old boy, and a lecturer of Pettigrew College, Ukhrul, Ngalo Ningshen.

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