Security in Manipur’s town at Myanmar border has been tightened up by deploying additional state forces following a tense situation.
Tension is prevailing in the border town after a village chief near the international borderline and a church leader were killed after being kidnapped by miscreants armed with sophisticated weapons.
Villagers suspect cadres of a Naga based rebel group to be behind the kidnapping and murder of chief of Nungkam Gamnom village S Otkhojam Mate (57) and village church chairman Tilpao Haokip (51) on January 8 last.
Besides intensifying the security measures, security forces were also engaged in flushing out militants in and around the border town by conducting combing operations.
A combined force of state police commando and IRB today carried out cordoningarea and search operations at K Tuisen village based on specific reports about the presence of underground elements in and around the village.
No report of arrest of any militants or suspects were reported during the operation.
Meanwhile, Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) while strongly condemning the killing of the duo has also expressed strong concern over a potential communal flare up in the border town.
A statement of the students’ body said that the brutal killing of the village chief and church elder by suspected underground was an unwanted incident which has all the makings for a potential communal flare up in the state.
“This cold blooded murder is an abhorrent act which calls for strong condemnation from all peace loving citizens. Therefore the KSO general headquarters condemns this killing incident in the strongest term,” it said. The statement alleged that the two victims were abducted from their village by six masked armed men in combat fatigues on January 6 and were found murder ed on January 8 near their village.
KSO considered it as a devious plan engineered by an underground group having vested interest to create communal enmity among the people and said that if this act was not a devious plan to create communal flare up the killers must have the conscience to come out in the open and state the reason behind their actions.
Otherwise this will be construed as a cowardly act of vested interest group to set off communal conflict and hostilities between communities, it added.
Nungkam Gamnom and Satang Khunou have been living together peacefully for the last decade or so. Therefore it is in the interest of all and sundry that this incident should not be the cause of enmity and a cause for destruction of the two villages, the KSO said.
The KSO further appealed both the communities of the two villages to return to their villages and settle peacefully with mutual understanding.
The KSO appreciated the timely intervention of the state government who has lost no time in sanitizing the area of unwanted elements and preventing potential communal flare up from this incident.
The state government must continue to strive for rule of law in the area despite the remoteness and the limitations it may face in maintaining law and order in the area.
However, it expressed displeasure over the indifference of the Assam Rifles in controlling underground groups from committing heinous activities.
“It is evident from the recent attacks and killings by undergrounds that the Assam Rifles who are deployed in the state to control the same have failed in their duty,” the KSO alleged.