Many decry arson, vandalism, blast
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 24 2024: In a series of incidents yesterday night, major fire burnt down the offices of United Committee Manipur (UCM) at Lamphel-pat and Macha Leima at Palace Compound.

The offices of the organisations were burnt by unknown miscreants even as a bomb blast killed one student and injured another at the DM University campus.

While many organisations including Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) have vehemently condemned the series of incidents yesterday night, United Committee Manipur (UCM) has termed the burning of its office as burning "history" and blamed the Government for "intelligence failure" .

At Manipur Press Club, Imphal today, UCM's consultant Yumnamcha Dilip Meetei said the committee condemns the burning down of its office in the strongest terms.

"UCM strongly condemns the incident.

We take it as a very vicious act which will be forever written in the history of Manipur.

It is heartbreaking that many important documents have perished and will never be found again," Dilip said.

The United Committee Manipur (UCM) has been the "voice" of the people since 2001.Now, all the works, especially the documents of paramount impor- tance have perished in the fire, he added.

Dilip asserted that the persons who burnt the office should have adopted other means to address their grievances.

All their grievances and differences could have been settled through talks and discussions.

The documents that have been burnt can't be recovered now, he added.

He said the unknown persons who burnt the office should be arrested and punished according to the law.

"If the Government is indeed there and wants to show its presence, then the persons involved in the incident should be booked at the earliest and given stringent punishment to deter such acts in the future.

The Government should bear the responsibility for the loss of the public property," Dilip said.

UCM president Konthoujam Joychandra said the committee was formed as an apex body to protect Manipur's integrity in 2001 after the Government of India signed a ceasefire "without territorial limit" with NSCN-IM.

He said many important documents pertaining to the boundary issues have been turned to ashes by the fire yesterday.

Along with the documents, TV, laptops and desktops and around Rs 5 lakh, donated by people for construction of the committee's office have also been burnt, he added.

Meanwhile, members of 15 civil society organisations met at the office of IPSA at Keishampat and took several resolutions condemning the incident.

The burning of the office of the UCM is a loss for the State and the people, said the organisations, appealing to persons, groups concerned to avoid such acts in the future and approach UCM members directly for resolving their grievances.

Coordinating Committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) which had been functioning from the office the UCM as its temporary office condemned the incident vehemently.

At a press meet held at Kwakeithel, COCOMI's coordinator, Thokchom Somorendro also condemned the bomb blast inside the campus of the DM University which killed a student and injured another.

He appealed to all groups and individuals concerned to avoid taking such actions in the future.

The current aggression against the State and its people needs to be faced unitedly.

The Seven Years Devastation and the defeat in the hands of the British in 1891 Anglo-Manipur War were results of "disunity and enmity among ourselves," he said.

Separately, Macha Leima president Wangkheimayum Amusana condemned the burning down of its office at Palace Compound, Imphal.

"Macha Leima, since 1969, has been in the forefront of all major issues in Manipur and working to uplift women in the State.

The Macha Leima school has been educating girl students.

The office was burnt at around 12.05 am today.

Unknown armed persons broke the gate and vandalised school properties and office of the Macha Leima before burning it down," she said.

Many important documents have been burnt and valuables including laptops, desktops, printers and Xerox machines, and around Rs 50,000 from a locker have been looted, she added.

Organisations including Manipur Youth and Students' Union (MYSU) and Thoubal Amasung Kakching District Apunba Lup (TAKDAL) also condemned the incidents in the strongest terms.

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