TODAY -

RPF condoles deaths, injured in Lilong firing
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, January 02 2024: Apart from deeply condoling those killed in the bring incident that ensued in the attempt to round up one Md Hassan at Lilong on January 1 evening, the proscribed Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) has said that the outfit will conduct an enquiry to ascertain cause of the incident.

According to a statement of RPF issued by its assistant secretary Bangkim, the outfit alleged that India has not only been waging a 'proxy war' to fuel enmity among different communities inhabiting in Manipur but also scheming to wipe of all indigenous communities of the land by bringing in drugs and intoxicants since the early 1980s.Manipur state government's 'War on Drug' to uproot drugs from the society is only for namesake and a mere 'Paper Tiger' while state forces could do nothing in the India's renewed 'proxy war' started from May 3, 2023 .

Accordingly, the 'War on Drug' campaign launched by the powerless and namesake state administration remains toothless and spiritless as 'drug politics' is being sponsored and actively participated by India's regular army, paramilitary, business tycoon and politicians, the secretary contended.

According to the RPF statement, the drug route through Manipur has been diverted towards Mizoram after the 'proxy war' started from May 3 but it would be wrong to conclude that no drugs enter Manipur as different types of contraband drugs are available abundantly.

From where and how these drugs reached Manipur as well as purpose and effectiveness of state administration's 'War on Drug' campaign is questionable, the RPF said.

To defend Manipur and its people from drug related issues and also to counter India's drug policy, RPF formed its Special Task Force (STAFORCE) on July 7, 1998 .

As part of its responsibility, a team of STAFORCE went to nab drug dealer Md Hassan, son of Md Habbibur at his Lilong Chingjao residence at about 8pm on Monday.

While claiming that Md Hassan had been warned repeatedly to stop drug business, the secretary said the STAFORCE team had to open blank fire initially as locals gathered near his residence and put up stiff resistance when the team nabbed Md Hassan.

As more locals gathered and the mob tried to snatch weapons despite blank firing, the STAFORCE team had to retreat after setting free Md Hassan as the locals started firing towards the team.

RPF has its own policy of restraining action against innocent civilians and the party did not retaliate when some of its cadres were detained and beaten at Lilong on August 22, 1982.The outfit lost one cadre in the said incident though some managed to flee the spot but did not retaliate as per outfit's policy.

After the incident, the outfit issued a 'Standing Order (SO)' as defensive measures to deal in such situations.

As per the SO, the STAFORCE team which went to nab Md Hassan at his Lilong residence on January 1 evening had to open fire for self-defence towards those firing at the team and accordingly managed to flee from the spot.

However, locals started torching vehicles (Gypsy) used by the STAFORCE team and the blaze led to explosion of ammunition, 40mm grenades and 60mm mortar shells kept inside the vehicles, the RPF statement said in connection with the January 1 evening incident.

Apart from deeply condoling and expressing its deep sympathy over the loss of lives and those injured in the firing incident that happened while trying to nab Md Hassan, RPF also said the outfit will conduct an enquiry to ascertain how the unfortunate incident unfolded.


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