TODAY -

Arrest perpetrators of 13 July Moreh terrorist attack and deliver justice

29th July 2018



Even as justice is still awaited in the Moreh terrorist attack of 13 July 2018, we are seriously concerned about the situation in the aftermath of the incident and the safety of TSA Moreh block president, Thongminlun Haokip, his family, including his pregnant wife and two children below five years of age, and others. They have not yet recovered from trauma but still live in constant fear as the attackers are still threatening and hunting for Thongminlun even after the attack.

It is only natural that victims of terrorism and violence will not feel safe as long as the perpetrators are let free to roam on the streets and carry on their terrorist activities. If any untoward incidents happen to Thongminlun and his family or any other persons who came under attack that night, the KNO/KNA and the government would be held squarely responsible.

Mention may be made that on 13 July 2018 at 2 am, more than ten heavily armed cadres of the Kuki National Organisation /Kuki National Army (KNO/KNA), fiercely attacked several houses at Gamnom Veng in Moreh Ward Number 2, belonging to Thongkhomang Touthang, Chongkholun Lhungdim and (L) Onkholet Haokip. They also assaulted Paokhogin Haokip and many properties were destroyed and several vehicles destroyed.

The attackers, allegedly led by Ts Thangboi Haokip alias Thahpi, a Moreh resident and Moreh commander of the KNO/KNA, fired over 100 rounds of gunfire and lobbed several bombs into the houses. Although miraculously no one was seriously injured in this attack, it has sent shockwaves and fear psychosis in the minds of the people. Even local CSOs are now frightened of speaking out the truth freely regarding the incident but toeing the line of the attackers for fear of reprisal.

Sadly, Moreh town has become a hotbed of crime, terror and violence against innocent children and civilians. A recent memory of such tragic events, among others, is the cold blooded murder of a teenage girl student, Miss Nengneingah Khongsai, by KNO/KNA at Moreh on 23 July 2017.

While we appreciate the so-called peace banquet at Moreh on 23 July between the KNA and UKLF in the presence of several CSOs of Moreh, we would like to clarify that our demands and agitation in connection with the 13 July Moreh terrorist attack have nothing to do with the feud, if any, between KNA and UKLF, both of which are under SoO. Neither Thongminlun nor TSA had any knowledge of the peace banquet or involvement in it.

We also strongly condemn the media statement issued by KNO/KNA in Eimi Times newspaper on 24 July in connection with the July 13 Moreh attack for giving false and baseless information against Thongminlun and TSA Moreh block. While claiming responsibility for the horrible attack, the KNO/KNA tried to justify their evil and criminal act of terrorism on innocent children and civilians. This statement of untruth to defame TSA and Thongminlun without any basis or evidence after the attempted mass murder is merely an attempt to hoodwink the public and cover up their evil act.

This deadly incident of mass shooting and bombing of innocent children and civilians was purely an act of terrorism and a criminal offence, and it should be treated as such. Crime is crime and there can be no justification. The government must not attempt to divert the matter to the SoO JMG meeting as if it is only an SoO matter. It was not a gun fight between two armed groups, but, as was clearly evident, an act of terrorism, gross human rights violation and attempted mass murder of innocent children and civilians by an armed militant group under SoO.

We will not accept any attempt to decriminalise the incident but fight for the right to freedom and justice until the perpetrators and the masterminds behind are arrested and brought to justice according to the law of the land.

Apart from being primarily a criminal act, this Moreh terror attack was also a direct and serious violation of SoO ground rules. As such authorities concerned must also take appropriate actions at the most appropriate level and according to SoO ground rules.

We are utterly dismayed as the government still remains silent over the attack and has not taken any punitive actions against the culprits according to the law of the land? Or is SoO a license for some militants to terrorise or murder innocent children, women and civilians in the community? Or are the KNO/KNA granted the right to immunity from arrest and prosecution even after they have claimed responsibility for the deadly crime?

There can be no excuse for violation of human rights or deliberate shooting and bombing of innocent children and civilians by anyone, be it state actors or non-state actors. But the fact that no punitive action has been taken against the culprits of the July 13 Moreh terrorist attack till now while the culprits continue to walk freely and

There can be no excuse for violation of human rights or deliberate shooting and bombing of innocent children and civilians by anyone, be it state actors or non-state actors. But the fact that no punitive action has been taken against the culprits of the July 13 Moreh terrorist attack till now while the culprits continue to walk freely and even make threatening statements in the media has led us to question if the deadly attack was sanctioned by the government authority.

Now that the KNO/KNA have claimed responsibility for the terror attack, the government and authorities concerned must not waste time to arrest and bring them to justice and also remove them permanently from Moreh and its surrounds to prevent such incidents in future and to restore lasting peace, security and public safety. The entire leadership of the KNO including its president PS Haokip also must be held responsible for the attack. The government must also consider declaring the KNO/KNA as a terrorist organisation.

We would like to once again fervently request the Chief Minister of Manipur, security forces and other authorities concerned to take up necessary stern actions against the culprits and the masterminds of the attack and also provide compensation for the destroyed properties and damaged vehicles in the attack at the earliest in public interest. Otherwise, we will be left with no option but to renew the agitations in an intensified manner until perpetrators of the crime are arrested and justice is delivered.

Sd/-
(Lian Haokip)
General Secretary
TSA Chandel & Tengnoupal


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Thadou Students' Association , General Headquarters who can be contacted at tsaghq(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on July 30 2018

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