By Paojel Chaoba
IMPHAL | June 18
Rash driving by security vehicles snatched away the life of a young and promising sports person. The young life of Shijagurumayum Rishkanta, a martial artist, who brought laurels for the state by winning medals, was snubbed out yesterday in a tragic road accident.
“We went to get our bicycles serviced. As we rode down Minuthong bridge, horns brayed from behind. A Gypsy had passed by and the prisoner truck hit my friend and drove away. The last escort vehicle stood still and those inside it looked on. My friend might have lived if they had taken him to the hospital immediately,” Haobam Raj recounted the tale of his friend Rishikanta being mowed down by a police van yesterday at around 11.40 am.
Rishkanta was a budding sports person and had many national medals in martial arts under his belt. He was lying bloodied near Minuthong after the prison van hit him and drove away. Some concerned individuals had stopped a four wheeler to transport the injured boy to the hospital.
“I alone lifted my friend and put him inside the vehicle, that drove him to nearby Raj Medicity. None of the police personnel helped me,” Raj told Imphal Free Press.
His coach Deven Moirangthem stated that Rishikanta had tremendous potential to represent the state in international tournaments. He had won five gold medals from 2011 to 2104 in Vovinam (a martial art of Vietnam recognized by the Olympic Council of Asia). He had many bronze medals in Wushu recently at the national level and even got a best fighter title.
“Uniformed personnel including VIP escorts have a mindset that the public should give way to them despite the traffic congestion. It behave in such a manner that they own the roads. They too should obey traffic rules and ensure roads safety. This goondaism must be stopped and I humbly appeal to the chief minister to look into this matter as loss of a promising sports person, without any fault of his, is a very serious issue,” Deven said.
His Wushu coach, Romen, at the funeral, said, “Where is our road? Do the roads belong to them? Are we supposed to drive along the river bank. The manner with which the uniformed personnel with their canes pointing out and driving at high speed in the city roads is a blatant misuse of their stations. Such personnel should be booked under the law. We want the errant driver to be arrested.”
The Imphal police station registered a complaint but, a compromise has been been reportedly reached between the local club, the family members and the state home department.
Rishijkanta is the second of five siblings born to Sh. Nilamani and Hemabati of Khurai Thangjam Leirak. He was to appear for his metric examination next year from Sawombung High School. He had bought his bicycle with his award money.
Despite the Supreme Court directive to curb VIP culture and removing red beacon lights most of the VIP escorts and military vehicles blare down on the public along congested city roads. No proper speed limit or traffic rules are observed, sources alleged.
The family members of the deceased appealed to the concerned authority to put an end to this total disregard for the public convenience.
Prison van knocks down player
By Paojel Chaoba