Correspondent, UKHRUL, AUG 30
2 DEAD, SEVERAL HURT, 7 VEHICLES DAMAGED IN UKHRUL
It was ‘Black Saturday’ in Ukhrul. Two civilians were shot dead and several others including a woman and security forces were injured as security forces fired upon rallyists during a rally organized by United Naga Council (UNC) in Ukhrul.
A posse of security forces at Awontang Junction was reported to have resorted to blank firing at around 1.45 p.m. and simultaneously turned sporadic towards the road leading to the Ukhrul Mini Secretariat.
As the Ukhrul Superintendent of Police passed through Wino Bazaar, his security escort personnel fired tear gas, mock bomb and gunned down two men at Tangkhul Naga Long (TNL) ground.
The deceased have been identified as Ramkashing Vashi (26), son of V. Christopher and Mayopam Ramror (30), son of R. Hangyui, both from Teinem (Tuinem) village.
Six persons sustained bullet injuries and two were reported to be in critical condition, while another seriously injured person Ngachonmi Muinao (30), son of M. David of Somdal village was rushed to Imphal Saturday afternoon.
The injured persons were taken to the District Hospital (DH) and given necessary treatment. A post mortem was already conducted on the dead bodies and being kept in the DH morgue.
Two vehicles including that of Kamjong SDO’s Bolero Jeep and a Maruti Gypsy of security personnel was overturned and set on fire by agitated mob near TNL ground while another police gypsy’s front windshield was also shattered as the mob pelted stones.
Security forces resorted to several rounds of gunfire and fired tear gas shells through the thoroughfares of the town till about 5 p.m.
Four civilian vehicles parked on the roadsides in Viewland and Phungreitang were also damaged by marauding jawans of IRB and police commandos.
Hundreds of infuriated residents gathered at various points of the town and put up road blockades. Security forces tried to clear the way through and even as several tear gas shells were fired at TNL office, they could not passed the blockade point there.
Three security personnel including a woman jawan were assaulted, while two AK rifles were reportedly snatched away by a mob at Awontang and Wino Bazaar. However, these reports could not be confirmed till the filing of this report.
Many persons found walking at Hamleikhong and Phungreitang areas were beaten up by IRB and police commandos, while some were dragged inside the Mini Secretariat complex and brutally assaulted and released later.
UNC rally could not be taken up as security barricades were put up at various points. The rallyists however managed to break through at Wino Bazaar and started to converge at TNL ground. Hundreds of people also managed to reach the site from Viewland, Phungreitang, Hamleikhong and Dungrei junction. UNC general secretary Gaidon Kamei addressed the public at different points where about 10,000 rallyists converged. UNC was about to start a public programme when the incident occurred.
After the incident on Saturday evening, ANSAM president Seth Shatsang stated, “Government of Manipur has fulfilled their desire…lives have been taken… what more do you want?”
As the evening wore down, tension subsided with 41 Assam Rifles led by Colonel Gaurav Bose patrolled through the town to take stock of the situation. However, state security forces were posted at various locations of the town and forced the residents to move indoor. Leaders of Naga organisations tried to meet and hold talks with Ukhrul deputy commissioner at AR Wino post but failed as misunderstanding cropped up between the two parties. In spite of repeated pleas from DC and AR officials, they walked off.