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Abducting Officials, The New Fad For Armed Groups

IMPHAL, Dec 6: While Chief Minister O Ibobi and his Cabinet colleagues enjoy round the clock security, with the CM being provided security by the Special Security Group from the CISF, there has been no stop to the rising cases of Government officials being waylaid and abducted by one armed group or the other for reasons not spelt out but known to all.

This has naturally drawn the ire of the Opposition parties, with the MPP leading the pack and dubbing the situation here as a case of the SPF Government totally failing in controlling the law and order and ensure the security of the common man, especially Government officials, who are the most vulnerable.

With abduction rising, Protest has become a daily sight

Abduction for ransom and large scale extortion by militants and certain individuals, some of whom are suspected to be working hand in gloves with Government agencies, is on the rise and the SPF Government is just not upto the task of tackling this menace, despite the so called police modernization on numerous occasions, said president of MPP, Dr Nimaichand Luwang

‘We have come across reports of some underground men taking shelter in certain residences of the ruling Congress legislators and Ministers. Though some of the cadres were arrested from such safe places, the Government has not taken up stern action against the legislators,’ Luwang added.

A few hours before five officials of the Public Health Engineering Department were released on Saturday, another Engineer from the Public Works Department was whisked away by unknown men from near his Elangbam Leikai residence in the heart of Imphal.

Assistant Engineer Ningthoujam Bimol (50) was moving to the headquarters of PWD at Khoyathong in his scooter on Saturday morning around 11 when an unknown man moved along with him on the pretext of discussing something about his official works, family sources said.

‘In the evening, we came to know that my elder brother has been abducted for ransom as one of the abductors informed us over phone. They demanded five percent monetary share from all projects being taken up by the Works Department for his release,’ said Ningthoujam Nirmol, younger brother of Bimol.

The abductors did not identify the group they belong to; Nirmol said adding that as directed by them, he informed the matter as well as the conditions laid down for his brother’s release, to the senior Engineers of the Works Department. ‘We also subsequently intimated the matter to the police.’

Confirming the incident, a senior police officer of Imphal West said rescue operations have been launched in suspected areas.

‘We are putting in our best efforts and leaving nothing to chance to rescue the Engineer unharmed,’ the officer added.

Local womenfolk and family members of the Engineer staged a sit-in-protest at Elangbam Leikai demanding his safe release today.

‘My son received neither threat nor monetary demands from any group and he has been abducted to pile on the pressure on the Works Department. We don’t want him to be the sacrificial goat. We demand his immediate release safely,’ an emotional Ibetombi Devi, mother of Bimol, said.

Currently Bimol is posted at Moreh in Chandel district bordering Myanmar looking after the maintenance of National Highway-39 from Pallel to the border town.

The five Public Health Engineering Department’s officials including four engineers, who were abducted from Senapati district on November 27, were freed by their captors on Saturday night.

A few days back, two officials including a section officer of Manipur fisheries department had escaped unharmed from the hands of the abductors.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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