Lamlai up in arms against killing of civilian
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 09: Out of the two alleged underground activists killed by Imphal East District Police Commandos during an encounter at Lamlai Bazar last night, one of the slain persons is said to be an innocent civilian identified as Ashangbam Shyamchand (27) s/o Shyamkishore of Challou Ward no..1 The underground activist killed in the incident has been identified as Sanasam Amarjit (22) s/o Mainou of Wangoo Awang Leikai who reportedly left home to join the PLA two and half years back.

Protesting the killing of the innocent person, a public meeting was held at Lamlai Bazar today.

Along with formation of a Joint Action Committee, the public meeting demanded instituting a judicial inquiry into the incident and giving befitting punishment to the police commandos involved in the killing.

In case the Government fails to pull up the guilty police commandos, the public meeting also resolved to call a State-wide 24-hour general strike with effect from 5 am of February 11. Further, the public meeting resolved not to take back the body and continue to launch various agitation including boycott of the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly election and staging Wakat Meephams in and around the surrounding villages of Lamlai with effect from tomorrow until Government concedes to the demands of the JAC.

Meanwhile, in a statement SP of Imphal East district L Kailun today said at around 7.20 pm yesterday on receipt of the information that some well-armed unknown militants were loitering in Lamlai Bazar area with the intention to disturb the ongoing election campaign and also to attack any security forces including escort personnel of candidates, a select team of Imphal East District Police Commandos led by its OC chalked out an operational plan and rushed to the site immediately.

On reaching Lamlai Bazar, the Commandos were heavily fired upon from the market shed and a dustbin located on the eastern side of Imphal-Ukhrul Road at Lamlai Bazar.

The Commandos also retaliated and one unknown armed militant was killed at the spot while the rest of the militants managed to escape taking advantage of the heavy downpour and darkness, the SP said, adding that the encounter lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes.

After the encounter was over, the area was thoroughly searched and one AK-56 Rifle loaded with one magazine and six live rounds and another magazine in the magazine pouch along with seven live rounds were recovered from the possession of the slain militant.

During further search another person was found dead with bullet injury at Ranjoy, a hair modelling shop, opposite to the market shed on the western side of Imphal-UKhrul Road, Lamlai Bazar.

On the other hand, according to information culled from the site of the incident, exchange of firing between the UGs and the Police Commandos broke out while the slain Shyamchand was staying along with four other friends identified as Heikrujam Joychandra, Khundongbam Jiten, Manoharmayum Kishorechandra and Moirangthem Ranjoy, all residents of Challou inside the shop of Ranjoy at Lamlai Bazar.

After the firing ceased, the Commandos called out all five of them who were laying on the floor of the shop.

While everyone else came out, Shyamchand failed to appear and later it was found out that he had died already.

Incidently, the birth ceremony of his first child, a daughter happens to fall today.

It is said after erecting a mandop along with some friends, Shyamchand had gone out from home to buy medicines for his wife at around 8 pm yesterday.

Another source alleged that after the firing encounter, the police commandos not only took one mobile phone along with Rs 1030 in cash from the possession of Joychandra and one mobile phone and Rs 4000 from Jiten, but also took away Rs 4000 from one Ch Joychandra, one mobile from one Takhellambam Ibochoubi and Rs 9000 from the possession of one Takhellambam Ingoba while he was returning to his Nongren residence.

The police commandos who have come in 20 Gypsies have also reportedly picked up 14 other people.

However, all of them were set free today.