NH-2 blocked over ‘traceless’ rape accused

National Highway-2, also known as Imphal-Dimapur Road, was blocked for several hours on Monday near Kanglatongbi area, as protesters demanded immediate arrest of one Kh Kashinba, who has gone into hiding after allegedly raping and attempt to murder a school girl.

On August 1 evening, the girl studying in Class 9 was found lying unconscious in a place in Senapati district headquarters. After a month-long treatment at a hospital in Imphal along with multiple stitches on her head and hands, the victim is now slowly recovering physically.

Spearheaded jointly by Liangmaipui Naga Ruangdi, Manipur, Namdilong Women Development Society, Kanglatongbi and Liangmai Naga Katina Ruangdi, protesters blocked the highway by piling logs and burning them, preventing vehicles from passing through Kanglatongbi area.

In order to control the large number of protesters, police resorted to tear gas shelling. In the process, scuffles ensued between the security forces and the protesters. By around 9 am, the number of protesters doubled, making it hard for the police personnel to handle the situation. The traffic along the national highway which was completely blocked returned to normal, after there was a communication from the state government to the protesters for negotiation at about 11 am.

Representatives of the protesting organisations then met the Deputy Commissioner of Kangpokpi and the Director General of Police (DGP) of Manipur at 3.30 pm.

According to the Liangmai organisations, the police chief assured that the culprit will be arrested within one month’s time. The DGP also told them that the cash reward of Rs 50,000 for any information leading to the capture of Kh Kashinba will now be increased to Rs 1 lakh, effectively from November 28. Following this assurance, the agitation was called off at around 4 pm.

The accused person namely Ashin alias Kasinba, who is evading arrest in connection with a case at women police station, Senapati has been declared ‘Wanted’ with a bounty of Rs 1 to anyone giving information leading to his arrest.

Ashin also known as Kashim ( 50) son of late Mangainanba is a resident of Nungtek, Karvangmuang village under Noney police station and anyone found harbouring/sheltering or associating in any way with the fugitive will be liable for prosecution, PRO police department said in a statement.

Earlier on November 23, the Liangmai organisations had demanded for the arrest of the accused within 72 hours and served an ultimatum to the government making it clear that they would go ahead with a 12-hour total shutdown of NH-2 from 6 am of November 27 followed by different forms of agitation.

According to the Liangmai organisations, they originally planned to start the agitations way before November 27 but owing to the requests of the Chief Minister and other authorities of the state government, they did not go ahead with the plan. They iterated that the state government had assured them swift justice but nothing happened till date. “Now it is almost four months but the State Government could not arrest the culprit,” rued the Liangmai organisations. “It is a shame that such a high authority talking very big thing is taking too long to arrest a rapist,” they maintained.

“We will wait till December 27 for the arrest of Kh Kashinba. In the event of failure by the State Government to arrest the culprit we will not listen to anyone but to go on with our agitation till the culprit is arrested,” asserted an LNKR leader.

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