Triple killing: Manipur to demand hand-over of culprits
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, March 19 2009: The State Assembly unanimously resolved to approach the Central Government to affect hand over of the culprits involved in the killing of Kasom Khullen SDO Dr Thingnam Kishan, Mondal Yumnam Token and Driver Aribam Rajen to the State law enforcing agency.

The same resolution was adopted after a motion raised by MLAs O Joy, Radhabinod Koijam, Dr Ng Bijoy and Dr I Ibohalbi for short duration discussion was turned into general discussion.

Raising the motion, O Joy remarked that murder of the SDO and his staff was one of the rarest in the crime history of Manipur.

Noting the univocal demand of the people to book the culprits as well as admission that three NSCN (IM) cadres involved in the murder were in its custody, Joy asserted that the murderers should be tried and punished under the law of the land.

Otherwise, it would amount to mortifying the judiciary system of the country's democratic set-up, Joy said.

Notwithstanding the State Government's announcement made on February 19 to hand over the case to CBI, the central investigating agency cannot take over the case until a notification is issued under Section V of the Delhi Police Establishment Act, Joy observed.

Clean chit given to the three surviving employees who were abducted together with the SDO and the failure of the Government to extract any clue/hint from the six officials and the then Ukhrul DC who held a meeting with the SDO just before his abduction have perplexed the people, he noted.

Observing that the family of Dr Kishan and the public have strong suspicion of the present DC Pankaj Kumar Pal's (now suspended) hand in the murder, Radhabinod Koijam asserted that the Government's failure to delve into details about the murder has aroused people's suspicion all the more.

Asking whether statements of the three rescued employees have been recorded, whether the then DC informed the Government about presence of NSCN (IM) camp at Siroy, Radhabinod sought attention of the House to urge upon the Central Government to hand over the culprits to the State so that they can be awarded exemplary punishment.

He further cautioned that extending ex-gratia in greater amount when the victim was killed by NSCN (IM), in lesser when killed by Kuki UG groups and the least when killed by Meitei UG groups may breed communal feelings.

As such, ex-gratia should be paid after formulating a proper guideline, he said.

He further asked what the Government had done for the engineer who was shot dead just in front of his child and wife.

MLA Ng Bijoy demanded that DC Pankaj Kumar Pal should be booked for leaving his station hurriedly even as he had some knowledge about the abduction.

Reminding that Manipur is not a party to the peace talk between the Government of India and NSCN (IM), Dr I Ibohalbi asserted that NSCN (IM) cadres are having a free run in Manipur.

He further proposed to constitute a House committee with the Chief Minister as its head to persuade the Central Govt to hand over the murderers to the State Government.

MLA RK Anand said that NSCN (IM) violated the ceasefire ground rules and murdered SDO Kishan and his staff.

He asserted that the issue may be dealt by the State Government instead of handing over to CBI.

The discussion was also participated by Deputy Speaker Shyamkumar, MLAs Khasim Ruivah, Morung Makunga, N Mangi, Wungnaoshang Keishing, L Nandakumar and K Ranjit.

Taking part in the discussion and responding to the queries, Chief Minister O Ibobi informed the House that statements of the now suspended DC Pankaj Kumar Pal have been taken.

According to his statement, Pankaj Kumar left his station for some personal problems.

However, he briefed the SDO and his staff on February 13 about the Minister's visit.

In connection with the Minister's visit to Kasom Khullen, he gave a cheque of Rs 40,000 to the SDO before leaving for Imphal at 2.30 pm of the same day.

On reaching Imphal, Pankaj Kumar tried to contact Dr Kishan but without success.

Thinking that the SDO might have returned home, the then DC tried to contact Dr Kishan in the next morning but again without success.

At this, Pankaj Kumar thought that the SDO might have headed to Kasom Khullen and he conveyed the same to Dr Kishan's family.

On being asked as to why he did not inform the Chief Secretary and the DGP on his inability to establish contact with one of his subordinate staff, assuming that he might have some knowledge about the preceding incident, Pankaj Kumar Pal said that he did not inform about the matter as he thought that Dr Kishan might have gone to Kasom Khullen via Thoubal.

Reiterating that DC Pankaj Kumar was suspended for his failure to inform his superiors in time and the SP for staying away at Shija Hospitals, the Chief Minister informed the House that the Government of India has intimated the State Govt that Pankaj Kumar Pal may be dismissed, if required.

Stating that NSCN (IM)'s designated camps are located only in Nagaland, Ibobi maintained that the State Govt did not recognise any designated camp of the rebel group in Manipur, even if it exists.

The Siroy camp was forced to shift away on the insistence of the State Govt to the Ministry of Home Affairs, he claimed.

Pledging that the State Govt will take up befitting actions if the ceasefire ground rules are violated, Ibobi stated that the Government would not tolerate such barbaric killings of Dr Kishan and his staff, IGP Thangthuan, Moirang CDPO and the EE who was shot dead in front of his own child and wife.

There is no question of undertaking counter insurgency operations more intensely in the valley than in the hills, the Chief Minister stated while conceding that there are certain differences as NSCN (IM) and NSCN (K) are holding peace talks with the Government of India.

As for Kuki UG groups they may stay in Manipur for they have already come to an understanding with the State Government, he clarified while asserting that no cadres of NSCN (IM) or NSCN (K) should operate in Manipur.

The murder case of SDO Dr Thingnam Kishan and his two staff was handed over to CBI considering the demand of the MCS Officers' Association which was in line with the State Government's intention.

Saying that the State Government has completed all procedures, the Chief Minister conveyed that the CBI Director is only awaiting an order of the Department of Personmel, Govt of India to start investigation into the murder case.

The three rescued Tangkhul employees are in the judicial custody of the Govt, he disclosed while claiming that they may be allowed to speak to media at some opportune time.

Many written appeals have been sent to New Delhi to hand over the culprits to the State Govt so that they may be awarded befitting punishment, the Chief Minister called upon the House to take an unanimous resolution in this regard so that the Govt's effort gains more weight.

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