The Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) has urged the Manipur government to review and strengthen criteria of issuing licensed guns in the state citing a rise in incidents and crimes committed using licensed guns.
Speaking during a press meet on Tuesday at YFPHR office located at Palace Compound, YFPHR secretary T Shadishkumar Sharma said that the forum has been repeatedly urging the government to look into the increasing number of crimes committed by licensed and unauthorised gun holders. He recalled that gun culture widely started during the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election. It was very unfortunate to recall that DC of all districts notified licensed gun holders to submit their guns yet crimes committed using licensed guns could not be stopped even after the election, he added.
Further, the SP of Imphal East and Imphal West took up special measures during December 31st and New Year celebrations to avoid unwanted incidents. Shadishkumar lamented that incidents of killing and intimidation by individuals possessing licensed or service guns still continue to take place even after a strict vigil by the concerned authorities.
He cited the recent incident wherein a 50-year-old woman died from a stray bullet and another incident in which a 24-year-old woman was shot dead by police personnel working in Manipur Police Telecom Organisation.
Shadishkumar also recalled the recent firing incident on January 5 wherein a 33-year-old Salam Deepak, son of Salam Gaurakishore Singh of Iroisemba Mamang Leikai, Imphal West, shot three rounds of bullets to one 34-year-old Haorkcham Thajamanbi Devi, daughter of H Thoiba Singh of Sanjenbam Mayai Leikai, Imphal West, with his service gun allotted to him. The victim sustained serious injury on her right chest and is now being treated at the hospital as she remains unconscious. By the time of commissioning of the crime, the said accused person was in his police uniform, Shadish added.
Police registered a case bearing FIR No: 5(1)2023 LPS U/s. 307 IPC & 27 Arms Act and was able to arrest the accused along with one 9mm pistol bearing No: 18305740, one magazine and 3 live rounds of bullets. Shadishkumar urged the state government to terminate the accused police personnel and to award befitting punishment according to the law. He also appealed to the state government to bear all the medical expenses for the treatment of the victim woman.
Further, he urged reviewing of the human rights education being taught during the Police Training Sessions and follow up half yearly for all the law enforcing agencies. And, establishing the full-fledged Manipur Human Rights Commission, he appealed.