Many Flay Ambush On MLA, Escort Party

IMPHAL, Apr 16: Cutting across community line and boundaries, many organizations have come out strongly against the ambush laid on MLA of Phungyar Assembly Constituency Wungnaoshang Keishing and his convoy that left as many as seven police personnel and one civilian killed while many others were wounded.

Five Tangkhul village heads and a civil organization voiced condemnation on the assassination attempt yesterday and conveyed condolences to families of the deceased persons, while also wishing speedy recovery to security personnel still in critical condition.

“We strongly condemn the act of ambush on Wungnaoshang Keishing by unidentified gunmen”, said a joint statement issued by Thoyee village chairman Lovingson Jajo, Riha village headman MH Wungreishung, Riha village chairman Kapangmi Jajo, Ramrei village headman Z Shimdhar and Chandong village headman Yaomi Kasar.

The joint statement shared the grief and pain of the bereaved families while also expressing “shock” on the “unwanted incident” and has strongly appealed to any armed group not to repeat such an “ugly” incident in the area. They also demanded adequate compensation to the victims’ families and injured from the State government.

The Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) also flayed the ambush laid on the convoy of the MLA at Riha village in Ukhrul district. Condemning the attack between New Canaan and Riha village in Ukhrul district in the strongest term, the student body termed such act as most unfortunate and urged to all concerned to identify themselves and give specific reasons behind such brutal act immediately.

Sharing the grief of the families of the deceased and the injured persons in the incident, the TKS earnestly appealed to all concerned not to resort to violence and bloodshed as the only means to resolve misunderstanding but to rather adopt non-violence.

Condemning the incident, Threatened Indigenous Peoples’ Society (TIPS), Manipur has termed it as a direct attack on the collective human rights and values of the people in Phungyar Assembly Constituency.

In a statement, assistant publicity secretary of TIPS L Sunder Khuman demanded that the any group responsible for the attack should come out with a justification on the act. Otherwise, it would regard as a crime against humanity, anti-people and terrorist activities.

The Government should also take up necessary measures to counter such threats and show that a democratically elected Government in place, Sunder said, while suggesting the Government to institute to a high level enquiry to find out the group responsible for the attack and the reason behind it.

Expressing deepest agony over the ambush laid by unidentified gunmen on MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing and his security escort team and other members of his travelling party, Centre for Organization, Research and Education (CORE) has pointed out that it was clearly an attempt to assassinate the MLA.

In a statement, president of CORE Dr Laifungbam Debabrata Roy said that it is a matter of great fortune that the MLA survived the deathly ambush. However, the death of six security staff and one civilian and the injuries caused to four other security staff and one civilian was a deeply lamentable matter.

Debabrata observed that MLA Wungnaoshang Keishing , who is presently at the helm of the Phungyar District Demand Committee as convener seeking a separate district to be bifurcated from the existing Ukhrul district, has been recently in a vulnerable position due to criticism from certain quarters. Under this vitiated circumstances, the attempt to assassinate MLA Keishing leaves many questions unanswered.

CORE has urged the Government of Manipur to immediately institute a judicial inquiry under a sitting High Court Judge or CBI inquiry in to the incident.

Furthermore, while conveying condolences to the bereaved families and wishing speeding recovery to those who sustained injuries, the Organization has called upon the Government to provide adequate compensation and support to the deceased and injured persons.

Women Action for Development has also strongly condemned the ambush and called for ending senseless violence help in increasing the number of widows and orphans in Manipur.

It may be noted that Wungnaoshang Keishing has been aggressively pushing the agenda for the creation of full-fledged Phungyar district by bifurcating the present Ukhrul district.  Recently, he drew flak from Naga apex body United Naga Council (UNC) for attempting to “derail” the demand for “Alternative Arrangement” for Nagas in Manipur. The MLA was asked to revoke the resolution for the demand of the district which he had apparently submitted to the government of Manipur but he steadfastly stood his ground saying that he was only obliging the wishes of the people who have been victims of uneven development in the district.  Interestingly, Wungnaoshang Keishing ran for the last MLA election with the backing and patronage of United Naga Council (UNC).

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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