Post poll violence hits Kangpokpi
An incident of post-poll violence occurred at Irang Part-I in Kangpokpi district on the night of April 14 when groups of people from Thonglang Atongba and Thonglang Akutpa allegedly attacked villagers of Poudel Basti in Irang Part-I at around 7:30 pm.
In the alleged attack, three people were reported to have sustained injuries. While two of them escaped from the attackers, another one was abducted but he was later rescued by a combined team of Kangpokpi Police and Assam Rifles from 12 Miles the same evening.
The three victims have been identified as Raj Kumar Sunal, 33, son of (late) Lal Bahadur Sunal of Haspukhri Irang Part-II currently residing at Poudel Basti in Irang Part-I; Romesh Tamang 35, son of Sriman Tamang of Poudel Basti, and Man Bahadur Sunal, 48, son of (late) Dhan Bahadur of the same village. The former two were brought to Kangpokpi-DHQ and admitted at the District Hospital.
Speaking to media personnel, Raj Kumar Sunal, who sustained injury in his left abdomen, stated that after he had dropped her sister after dinner for Baishaki festival, a group of unidentified miscreants physically assaulted me threatening me at gun point stating “while you are living in Nagas area you vote for BJP.”
“I told them I am not eligible for voting because of discrepancies in my voter’s card, yet they continued assaulting me and later tied me up threatening to kill me along with some other individuals they have nabbed,” he continued adding that the assailants while keeping on torturing him spoke in the Nagamese dialect.
Another victim, Romesh Tamang also stated he faced similar physical assaults and intimidations.
Secretary of Poudel Basti Authority, Raju Gewali alleged “Those groups of people from Thonglang Atongba and Thonglang Akutpa were there with a motive of attempt to murder the village chairman and secretary of Poudel Basti. When they could not find them, they assaulted whosoever they meet in the village.” He asserted that during polling day on April 11, around 50/60 people from Thonglang Atongba and Thonglang Akutpa forcefully entered the two Polling Stations bearing No. 50/7 and 50/8 in Poudel Basti. “They even entered the polling booth and pressed the EVM button despite complaints from the Presiding Officer,” Raju Gewali added.
It may be mentioned here that Raju Gewali’s wife had also stated that she was intimidated with threats of kidnapping her if she did not bring out her husband; and Gyan Bahadur Tamang of Poudel Basti too spoke of similar harassments to his wife while he was away.
Meanwhile, All Manipur Gorkha Students’ Union (AMGSU) has expressed strong condemnations against the post-poll violence incident terming it as an “attempt to murder of innocent Gorkha community” while adding that this is not the first attempt at harassing the Irang Gorkha community by the Naga community of Thonglang village. “Yesterday’s incident had already crossed the limits of tolerance,” said a release from AMGSU.
It stated that Gorkha community respect Nagas as brothers and treat them as responsible neighbors as we have been living peacefully for generations while adding the Gorkha community wants the same treatment and relationship on the part of the Nagas brethren in the future. “For any sort of misunderstanding, we can settle the matters peacefully through negotiation rather than using violence; and AMGSU expects peaceful and long lasting solutions from the Naga villages of Irang areas,” it said while cautioning that AMGSU will not remain silent if such incidents occurred in the near future.
The Kuki Students’ Organization (KSO) Sadar Hills has also vehemently condemned the alleged post-poll violence at Poudel Basti yesterday night stating that “We would prefer such form of violence for whatever reason do not occur within Kangpokpi District.”
President of KSO Sadar Hills, Thangminlen Kipgen further condemned the post-poll violence upon the innocent villagers of Poudel Basti. “We strongly urge the District Administration, the District Police and other authority concerned to arrest those assailants sooner than later as it has been reported that their face, names and address are known,” he added.
While condemning the incident and terming it as an act of dominating policy on the part of the Thonglang people, Manipur Gorkha Welfare Union (MGWU) alleged that the attack was carried out by groups of people from Thonglang Atongba and Thonglang Akutpa led by one Ch. Joseph who is the secretary of Thonglang Atongba.
“MGWU is deeply disappointed and the union demands the State government to book the culprits at the earliest,” working president of MGWU Hari Prasad Nepal said while urging the State government to ensure the safety of life and properties of Poudel Basti by deploying adequate security without any further delay.
The local MDC of Irang Part-I and Irang Part-II also immediately rushed to the injured victims and help them during their grievances.
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