Rohit died on the way to Raj Medicity and his father is still in serious condition. Family members and neighbours allege that it is the handiwork of BJP workers.
Ningthoujam Premchandra, a 53-year old and father of three sons had retired for the night after having dinner at Heirok part-2, Mayai leikai on Tuesday. At around midnight, the locality was rudely awoken with sounds of gunshots being fired indiscriminately.
Nigthoujam Rohit, son of Premchandra and currently a 3rd semester student of Thoubal College heard noises at the back of the house and had opened the door to find out what was happening. The masked men standing at nearby, wielding weapons shot him at point blank range with a shotgun. Premchandra rushed towards his son’s side and he too was shot down by the masked assailants. They also hit him on his head with a club and made their exit after committing the heinous act.
Rohit died on the way to Raj Medicity and his father is still in serious condition. Family members and neighbors allege that it is the handiwork of BJP workers.
In the last few months, the pre-poll violence in Heirok assembly constituency has risen as masked men continue to terrorise families and election campaigners. Many individual-houses have been ransacked, women have been brutalized, a journalist had been beaten up and the situations continue to scale up from bad to worse. Ningthoujam Rohit is the first person to be killed in the run-up to the upcoming 12 Manipur state assembly elections.
Family members and neighbors told TFM at Raj Medicity that the first act of violence occurred on Tuesday evening at around 8 pm at Heirok bazar. It was alleged that BJP workers of 33/39 polling unit had thrown stones at the newly set up poll unit of the Congress at the area. Later shots were fired in the air. The persons who were in the particular Congress unit came out to counter the attackers. Among them was deceased Rohit’s elder brother Roshan, an ardent Congress supporter. When the rival political-party workers came face to face, persons from the BJP poll unit started attacking the Congress workers with firearms. Shots were fired and one individual identified as Khundongbam Rakesh, 28, son of Shyam of Heirok part 2 Mayai Leikai was shot in his right arm. The Congress workers then ran away from the spot.
Rakesh was brought to Raj Medicity for treatment and from the x-ray taken, one could see a projectile lodged inside his arm that looks like a 9mm bullet with a fractured bone. After the incident, there was sporadic firing at around the Heirok bazar area. Eyewitness recount that one person was also beaten up near Champrathong area.
At around midnight, the local women who were keeping watch at Heirok part 2 heard some noises and a group of masked men approaching the area shouted that they would kill the women if they stayed outdoors. The apprehensive residents including the women ran into their homes. Later, the masked men attacked the residence of one Moirangthem Ratankumar, 42, a resident of Heirok Mayai Leikai. After the attack, the masked men who were attired in black surrounded the house of Ningthoujam Premchandra. It was during that time that Rohit had gone to the back door and was shot at point blank range. His father was also shot. At the time of incident, Rohit’s brother who is a Congress worker was not at the residence. Villagers of the area charged that the police and the BSF were present in the area while the shooting was going. However, they did nothing to stop it. Allegations were made that the police personnel may have been in cahoots with the attacking mob who were BJP workers.
It may be mentioned that the incumbent BJP MLA, Th Radheshyam and his Congress opponent Moirangthem Okendro are in a straight fight for the upcoming assembly elections and the poll violence has been escalating in recent times. Family members of the deceased told TFM that anarchy is reigning at Heirok area presently and that the murder of Rohit must not go unpunished.
“This is a dastardly and cowardly act, we will not let this matter rest until the criminals are booked, this is not a fair political campaign but a murderous one,” Rohit’s aunt stated. Heirok police has registered a case in this regard.