Tension escalates at border town
Meira paibis confront AR men at Moreh

Source: The Sangai Express

Moreh, June 04: Even as representatives of the Meetei Council, Moreh met Chief Minister O Ibobi today at his official residence and submitted a memorandum demanding among other things, shifting of the Assam Rifles post from Moreh, an ugly scene ensued at the border town with meira paibis coming into direct confrontation with the AR personnel.

Trouble started at about 11.55 am today when troops of 24 AR led by Major Vijay Sati tried to arrest a 25 year old man, Koijam Sushil, while he was sitting inside a hotel at Moreh bazar.

The meira paibis of Moreh who were already incensed over the killing of a youth by Kuki militants yesterday intervened and physically attacked the Major leading the troops.

With the meira paibis putting up a stiff resistance, the AR men opened around 70 to 80 rounds of fire in the air and started raining blows on all those who were near the place of the confrontation.

Though no one was hurt in the firing, the beatings by the Assam Rifles seriously injured three meira paibis and they had to be rushed to Moreh hospital.

They are identified as Thokchom Ibemhal (55) of Moreh ward number 9, Yumnam Shanti Devi (40) of Moreh ward number 7 and Thokchom Thoibi (45) of Moreh ward number 6. The confrontation, as observed by some media persons, started when the AR troops led by the Major tried to take away Sushil and the already incensed meira paibis intervened on the ground that while the militants who were responsible for killing a youth at Moreh yesterday were allowed to escape scot free, the AR troops tried to arrest another innocent man.

After the confrontation, the ADC of Moreh convened a meeting with members of the JAC.

M Karnajit, who is currently in charge of DIG Range II and the SP of Chandel G Bimolchandra were also present at the meeting.

The meeting however ended in a fiasco with the JAC members staging a walk out when the DIG allegedly questioned why such a hue and cry was being raised over the killing of a person at Moreh while killing is a daily affair in Manipur.

The peeved JAC members made it clear that they will not meet the DIG in the future to talk things over.

In the meantime, the PRO of Assam Rifles in a statement today said that the AR troops were patrolling the streets of Moreh to ensure safety and security in view of the charged atmosphere there.

The patrol party had a spotter who noticed a suspected UNLF cadre in a gathering and when the troops tried to arrest the said individual, meira paibis present there surrounded the troops and started to misbehave and even man handled the duty officer and then snatched the suspect from the troops, said the statement.

The meira paibis interfered and prevented the troops from doing their duty, said the PRO in the statement and claimed that the troops displayed a high degree of restraint and had to resort to firing two rounds in the air to control the mob.

"This undesirable behaviour on the part of the meira paibis will not assist the Assam Rifles in bringing peace and tranquillity in the region," asserted the PRO.