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Board Chairman’s Killing Sparks Fisticuffs, Enraged JAC Accuses BSEM Employees, Go On The Rampage

Members of the JAC swooping down on the employees of the BSEM on dharna

IMPHAL, Jan 12: Alleging involvement of some individuals within the Board of Higher Secondary Education Manipur (BSEM), in the killing of its Chairman Dr Naorem Kunjabihari Singh inside his office room last evening, a large number of protestors hailing from and near the victim’s locality went on the rampage in front of the Board office where the employees were staging a protest demonstration against the murder.

After frayed tempers finally subsided with the intervention of security force personnel, a delegation of the JAC formed in connection with the killing submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister containing various demands.

Of the demands put up by the JAC, the Chief Minister has endorsed their suggestions that three suspects be pulled up, said a JAC member.

The JAC demands included arrest of murder accused/suspects within January 18 failing which Dr Kunjabihari’s corpse would not be claimed; participation of a medical personnel along with one legal practitioner, representing the JAC, in the post mortem examination; handing over investigation to the CBI; video coverage of the post mortem process; and commensurate compensation/ex-gratia to the next of kin of the deceased.

Speaking to news-persons after meeting the Chief Minister, JAC convener Naorem Suraj disclosed that CM contended Naorem Suraj disclosed of the CM contending that three suspects have been pulled up besides assuring that all the demands would be considered honorably.

The CM is also informed to have had telephone conversation with an Inspector General ranked police officer in the presence of the JAC team during which the police officer was censured as to why the culprit(s) have not been tracked down as the murder took place inside the office room.

Significantly the CM is also said to have suspected involvement of Board personnel/official(s) in the murder, according to Suraj.

The convener also said that after resorting to road blockade of NH-39 in Kakwa area till late night yesterday to protest the killing a meeting followed culminating with the formation of the JAC as well as stoppage of vehicular movement till about 11 am today.

Earlier, the rampage occurred at around 1.50 pm today as the protestors, who had assembled at near Nupi Lan Memorial Complex, insisted on joining the sit-in-protest of the Board employees after their they were stopped by security force personnel.

Having convinced the security personnel on duty that their purpose of arriving at the scene was to participate in the protest demonstration, the protestors were allowed to proceed. Soon after reaching the protest site, the protestors comprising of elderly women and youth directed their ire against the protesting employees kicking earthen pots and utensils besides physically assaulting some employees who were bewildered by the swiftness of the attack.

Many vehicles parked near the protest site were also damaged by the rampaging protestors.

The violent protest continued inside the Board office complex as well after some womenfolk led the protestors to the ground floor parking zone and into the office blocks destroying furniture and shouting slogans at the same time alleging involvement of Board employees in the murder of the Chairman.

Even the rage continued only a baton wielding security personnel at the entrance gate of the Board office could be spotted helplessly watching the violent demonstration.

The trouble somewhat subsided after some personnel from the nearby Imphal police station showed up at the scene.

Moments before arrival of additional police reinforcement, the women protestors caught hold of a man who was in an inebriated state and stumbled in trying to flee. Soon after the captured individual identified himself as Ahanthem Dilipkumar (45) s/o A Boyai of Lamshang Makha Leikai and was the driver of former Board Chairman Nabachandra, the womenfolk started to rain blows and hit him with slippers.

As the large number women began to grill him instantly and demanding that identity of the killers be disclosed, Dilipkumar claimed he had not come to take part in the sit-in-protest but to collect certificate.

Inspite of pleading innocence the womenfolk insisted that peons and drivers are well aware of the office activities and should have information about who killed Dr Kunjabihari.

Even as the police took custody of Dilipkumar and took him towards the police station located opposite to the Board office, some of the men in uniform could be seen canning the individual to disclose whatever information he had about the murder.

On the other hand seizing the opportunity of the infuriated protestors being herded away from the Board office complex, many of the entrapped employees slipped out to safety.

Meanwhile, before the rampaging protestors stormed to the Board office complex, the employees under the banned of Manipur Secondary Board Employees’ Union displayed placards and banners condemning the killing of Dr Kunjabihari. They also raised demands for ensuring a conducive working environment and clarification from all concerned as to why the Chairman has been murdered.

According to the Union’s general secretary Ashem Angouba sit-in-protest would continue till identity of the murderer(s) could be established. Reminding that the Board activities revolve around preparation and publication of text books and is presently busy for the forthcoming Board examination, Angouba expressed angst that a sincere officer like Dr Kunjabihari has been murdered at such a crucial juncture. It may be mentioned that Dr Kunjabihari was found shot dead inside his office chamber at around 3.30 pm yesterday. Unaware of the Chairman being shot, some Board personnel rushed him to RIMS Hospital suspecting it to be a case of stroke from high blood pressure only to be told by the attending doctors that he (Kunjabihari) suffered fatal bullet wounds in the hand and chest areas. Meanwhile, Tangkhul Katamnao Long Imphal has strongly condemned killing of the BSEM Chairman by unidentified gunmen.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express

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