Will definitely arrest guilty ones: CM on Nungba incident

IMPHAL,8th Sep: Strongly condemning the September 3 incident at Nungba bazar wherein an AMSU functionary was assaulted and artistes travelling in a passenger carrier were harassed by some people who identified themselves as cadres of NSCN (IM), chief minister N Biren has affirmed that all those involved in the incident will definitely be arrested and punished as per law of the land.

Responding to queries from media persons on the side-lines of a programme held at the CM’s secretariat here on Saturday, chief minister Biren said the state government has already taken up necessary steps to trace and track down those persons who claimed to be members of NSCN-IM and man-handled the AMSU functionary who was in the same vehicle as the harassed artistes and also provoked the vehicle occupants and tried to rob them.

Regardless of the government of Manipur bereft of legal authority to demand handing over of the culprits as NSCN-IM is declared as outlawed and illegal organisation, a police FIR was registered on immediate receipt of information about the incident in order to initiate punitive measures, he said.

Observing that no sane person who deviates from socially accepted norms and commits atrocities on civilians will dare to live in conventional society, Biren reiterated that no stone will be left unturned to hunt down the guilty person(s).

As possibility of the assaulters gone into hiding in the safety of jungles cannot be ruled apprehending them will definitely entail extensive searches and consequently take some time, the CM reasoned while revealing that the state government has intimated army authorities to assist Manipur police in arresting the culprits.

Sometimes it is not feasible to immediately nab anti-social elements/suspects in some areas especially in hill districts due to difficult terrains. However, the state government is exploring all possible means including taking assistance from the Army to arrest the miscreants, he said and urged AMSU to reconsider its decision to impose highway blockade over the issue.

“We have requested the General Officer Commanding to assist the police commandos in finding and arresting the culprits who had terrorised the people,” Biren affirmed. Referring to the NSCN-IM denying any involvement in the Nungba incident, the CM took note of the fact that other groups including those from the Zeliangrong tribe are holding the NSCN-IM accountable for roughing up the passengers.

The government is not concerned by charges and counter-charges being levelled amongst groups on the Nungba incident or any other issue as primary objective of all elected governments is to ensure that law breakers are pulled up and made to face the consequences as per law, Biren said, and urged AMSU to shelve the plan for enforcing highway blockade in pursuance of the demand arresting the culprits.

Further stating that the aggrieved party should not jump to any conclusion and take decisions that could imperil the common people as the state government has been doing everything possible to nab the accused, the chief minister also conveyed that process is underway for sanitising the national highways from unwanted elements through deployment of Highway Protection Force. As part of the government initiative, 34 spots for stationing the force have been identified, he added.

With regard to the evolving situation in Manipur University, the CM said that the tripartite Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed among the Central government, MU community and the state government is binding on all the parties, and there should not be any doubt on it. Acknowledging that the MoA was inked in his presence, Biren, while referring to recent development in the varsity, declared that the state government would pursue the Centre as per the terms of the MoA.

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