Campaign for Manipuris killed by Army gains momentum

Correspondent IMPHAL, AUG 12 | Publish Date: 8/12/2018 11:52:32 AM IST

The demand for justice for five persons from Manipur (including a PLA leader) missing after the Indian Army picked them up from Dimapur in Nagaland between 2010 and 2011, is gaining momentum in Imphal.

In an affidavit filed in the High Court of Manipur recently, Lieutenant Colonel Dharamvir Singh of the Indian Army’s 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit alleged that the five Manipuris had been murdered in cold-blood by a team of the Indian Army’s 3 Corps Intelligence Unit stationed in Dimapur.

As per the affidavit, it was alleged that a PLA militant and the then assistant publicity officer of the outfit G Jiteshwar Sharma alias Gypsy and a friend were picked up from a rented room near SM College in Dimapur and killed in August 2010. Their bodies were buried behind the unit mess and few unit persons know the exact location.

The officer further claimed that on March 10, 2010, three Manipuri youth identified as Phijam Naobi, RK Ronel and Th. Prem were abducted from a rented house in Dimapur by 3 Corps Intelligence Unit and killed behind the mess hall. 

Their bodies were later recovered from Lakhijan area under Bokajan police station in Karbi Anglong of Assam on March 17, 2010.

In a similar incident, the affidavit claimed, another Manipuri student, Thangjam Satish, who then studied at ST Dominic College, and his friend were picked up from Shillong by the same team on February 5, 2010 and both were killed in the jungles of Masimpur.

Since media in Imphal and aboard reported about the affidavit, families, relatives and communities of the deceased persons have been carrying out various forms of protests demanding justice and the formation of a joint action committee (JAC). 

Various civil society organizations, particularly women based bodies, were also extending support to the demand.

Furthering the protest, sit-in-protests were staged Sunday in Imphal’s Khoyathong Bazar and Bishnupur district’s Kumbi Bazar under the joint aegis of the JAC and women bodies.

The protests demanded enquiries into the alleged murder of the individuals and wanted befitting punishment for the personnel of the 3 Corps Intelligence and Surveillance Unit.

While also demanding the corpses of the two missing persons, they pressed the state government to take up necessary steps to hand over the cases to an independent enquiry agency like the CBI or instituting a special investigation team.

Protestors held placards with slogans like “Remove Indian from Manipur”, “We want justice,” “We denounce cold blooded murder,” “Handover mortal remains of Jugeshwor and Satish,” etc.

Talking to reporters at the protest site at Khoyathong, president of Poirei Leimarol Meira Paibi Lup Longjam, Memchoubi Devi said that legal action should be initiated against the Army personnel involved in the murder, after an investigation by an independent agency.

Central government, Union home ministry and state government should not allow concealing such extra-judicial killings, she said. 

She further demanded repeal of the black laws like Armed Forces (Special) Power Act and others.


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