Many Hurt In crackdown; SFs Contradict Arrest Claims

IMPHAL, Oct 20: At least 20 persons, including a lady, suffer injuries of varying degrees when police dispersed protestors who tried to advance to Thoubal police station to enquire whereabouts of an former UG cadre reportedly arrested by Assam Rifles troops.

According to a police source, one Zamir Khan (35) s/o Zalauddin of Sangaiyumpham Part-II Moirang Palli Bazar was picked up from home by troops of 15 and 33 Assam Rifles at around 7.30 pm yesterday.

On the other hand, statements issued by PIB (DW) and PRO IGAR (S) contradicted status/position held by the arrested person as well the outfit he was allegedly associated.

While PIB (DW) described Zamir Khan as finance secretary of PULF, NEMF faction Finance Section and the arrest involved troops of 33 and 15 Assam Rifles along with a team of Thou-bal police, a PRO IGAR (S) release confirmed handing over of (No. 307) SS Pvt Md Zamir Khan to Thoubal police station along with the recovered items.

The release claimed arrest of Zamir at around 11 pm on October 19, as a NEMF cadre.

As per information provided by the PIB (DW) re- lease Zamir was involved in recruitment, tax collection and extortion from Government servants, contractors, bus owners and local population.

Even though both the releases mentioned that Zamir was arrested from his Sangaiyumpham Part-II Moirang Palli Bazar, the PIB (DW) statement contended that the individual has been handed over to Moirang police station.

As per local police source, in the same evening, Zamir Khan, a former member of the erstwhile North East Minority Front, was handed over to Thoubal police station along with a 9 mm pistol, magazine and five live rounds.

The same night Sangaiyumpham locals in one bus, mini bus and some auto-rickshaws reached the office of the District (Thoubal) Superintendent of Police from where they were reportedly informed that Zamir might be in the custody of Thoubal police station.

While the large number of people tried to advance towards Thoubal police station a district police team halted them as a pre-emptive measure to avoid the situation going out of the hand.

After a few heated exchange of words and scuffle broke the police personnel resorted to firing tear gas canisters resulting in at least 15 of the protestors suffering injuries as they ran helter skelter.

Out of the injured persons, five have been ad- mitted to RIMS Hospital as their conditions were stated to serious.

The rest were treated at Thoubal District Hospital, the source added.

Meanwhile, in connection with Zamir Khan’s arrest and consequent police crackdown a public meeting was convened at Sangaiyumpham Part-II Moirang Palli Bazar today which culminated in the formation of a JAC.

Speakers at the meeting described Zamir as innocent and decried alleged police high-handedness during the crackdown during which at least 30 persons were canned/injured.

The meeting also demanded unconditional release of Zamir in addition to adopting resolution for com- plaints to the Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh and local representative (MLA) for initiating legal punitive action against those police personnel involved in the crackdown.

In a late evening development, a caller who identified self as one of the JAC executives informed that all agitation plans have been suspended for the time being after an agreement was reached with the CM on the incident.

The caller claimed assurance of the CM to initiate appropriate punitive action in case any of the police personnel were found in access of their duty obligation.

Meanwhile,  a PRO IGAR (S) release informed that troops of 12 Maratha LI and 31 Assam Rifles arrested an over ground worker of the proscribed PREPAK outfit at around 10.45 pm of October 19 during a joint search operation conducted at Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai. The arrested person has been identified as Thokchom Bond, m (21) s/o Th. Luwangba of Kwakeithel Thokchom Leikai.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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