BSF lands in killing slur mess
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 02: Even as the 24 hour general strike called to protest the killing of a civilian under contradictory claims at Khoken village under Sapermeina bazar on January 31 was in force, the BSF has been accused of shooting two persons to death at Nongpok Sekmai last night.

On the other hand a sit-in-protest was held at Khoyathong, in front of ABC godown to protest the killing of Achom Dolendro, a technician at Shija Hospitals and Research Centre by unidentified gunmen on January 29 evening.

The two persons were allegedly killed by BSF personnel in retributive action following an attack by unidentified gunmen which left one of their colleagues wounded at Nongpok Sekmai, 8 kms east of Yairipok Police Station last night.

The two victims have been identified as Ningthoujam Ranbir alias Thopchao (27) s/o Samu of Nongpok Sekmai Lilong Kambong and Yambem Kala (23) s/o (L) Yambem Kala of Lourembam Aripat Khul.

Both of them succumbed to the injuries today.

The incident occurred at around 9 pm yesterday while a Thabal Chongba programme was underway at Nongpok Sekmai Lila Kambong ground.

According to information received by the press, the security personnel belonging to 172 BSF Headquarters, West Bengal who have recently come on election duty and are putting up inside the campus of the Primary Health Centre at Nongpok Sekmai were witnessing the Thabal Chongba some 10/30 feet away when the unidentified gunmen fired at them.

One personnel reportedly sustained injuries in the firing attack.

Talking to mediapersons today, one Maibam Devananda who was present during the Thabal Chongba programme as well as at the time firing, recounted at around 9.30 pm yesterday, BSF personnel posted inside the campus of the Primary Health Centre, Nongpok Sekmai came in one bullet proof vehicle to witness the Thabal Chongba programme.

The BSF personnel stopped the vehicle along the Sikhong-Sekmai Road and were standing there when sounds of firing attack were heard.

The security personnel were also seen retaliating the firing.

The Thabal Chongba programme ended abruptly and all the people lied down on the ground.

After the firing ceased and the security personnel left for their camp, all the people also ran away from there.

Not far away from the site of the Thabal Chongba, Yambem Kala (24) of Nongpok Sekmai Lourembam Aripat Leikai was found with bullet injuries on his head and he was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Not long after, another person identified as Ningthoujam Ranbir (24) of Lila Kambong Maning Leikai was shot dead by the security personnel right in front of their gate of the post at Primary Health Centre of Nongpok Sekmai.

According to one Maibam Sarat who is a friend of the deceased Ranbir, six of them have come out from the venue of the Thabal Chongba in a Jeep and went to attend a party at Nongpok Sekmai Bazar.

After the party, two persons stayed back in the Jeep, while four of them returned unaware of what had happened.

As they walked down in front of the gate of the BSF post, the security personnel asked them to lift up their hands in the air and so they walked with their hands in the air and Ranbir in front.

At that time, one of the BSF personnel pulled the trigger of his weapon aiming toward them.

Ranbir was hit by the bullet.

Ranbir simply told them that something had scratched his stomach, but soon they realised that blood had already started oozing out from his body.

�We told the security personnel that we are innocent civilians of the village, they told us to run with our hands in the air toward the Bazar side.

All three of them ran to the house of the local MLA and after the wife of the MLA alerted the Meira paibis of the area, they came toward the spot where Ranbir was lying in a pool of blood.

But the security personnel did not allow them to go near Ranbir.

Ranbir was taken to the Hospital only after the police arrived at the spot�, Sarat said.

According to police sources, the report submitted by the BSF personnel simply stated that after the firing attack and the Thabal Chongba programme ended, they returned to their post.

But from among the people running helter-skelter, one hand grenade was lobbed toward the post resulting in causing injury to Havildar Binod Yadav (37) on his left calf.

In connection with the killing a joint public meeting attended by representatives of the local clubs, organisations, Meira paibis, etc was held at Lila Kambong Football ground today.

Along with formation of the Joint Action Committee (JAC), the meeting has also taken various resolutions.

The resolutions including punishment of the BSF personnel involved in the killing, removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act from Manipur immediately, and shifting of the BSF camps from the campus of the PHC at Nongpok Sekmai immediately.

Coming out strongly against the killing, the Working Committee of the Apunba Lup has termed it as yet another instance of violating international humanitarian law and provisions of the Geneva Conventions by India and its armed forces.

In a joint statement signed by its co-ordinators the Apunba Lup has also announced its unflinching supports to any form of agitation taken up by the JAC in this regard.