JAC demanded the arrest of murderers of Seiminthang Lupho and declared a bandh on the Moreh-Imphal ASEAN highway. Tengnoupal District Magistrate imposes CrPC 144 in the whole area of Moreh town for two months
By SP Singh, TFM Moreh Correspondent
The suspicious death of a 22-year-old youth triggered a protest affecting the normalcy in the Border Town of Moreh on Friday. Seiminthang Lupho, son of (L) Sehlal and Lhingneikim Lupho of Canan Veng, Moreh Ward No VII was found dead at Khujailok river under a bridge connecting Moreh Bazar Ward No. 6 and Turel Wangma/Canan Veng, Ward No. 7 on Thursday morning. The body was recovered just 500 metres away from Moreh police station.
According to family members, Seiminthang Lupho left his home the previous night around 8 pm and did not return. His body was found the next morning with several injury marks and fractured left hand. Blood stains were found near the site.
Meanwhile, a Joint Action Committee was constituted against the alleged murder of Seiminthang Lupho. It demanded the authority concerned to nab the culprit(s) within 24 hours and imposed a total shutdown from 6 am to 6 pm condemning the murder.
Though the autopsy was conducted on Friday, family members of the deceased decided not to claim the body till justice is served, said sources.
During the shutdown, JAC volunteers were seen on roads restricting movement in Moreh Town. However, medical, emergency, fire service and religious programmes were allowed to proceed. All shops, business establishments, schools, banks and offices remained closed. The roads wore a deserted look as all the vehicles including private water carriers stayed off the roads.
Meanwhile, the District Magistrate of Tengnoupal imposed CrPC 144 in the whole area of Moreh town for two months restricting the assembly of five or more persons, which is likely to turn unlawful. The district magistrate also restricted the carrying of sticks, stones, firearms without valid licenses, weapons, or objects of any description which can be used as offensive weapons.
Meanwhile, the JAC issued a press statement saying, “The shutdown and peaceful protest is to show solidarity to the victim’s family and a democratic means to seek justice for the victim.”
The statement said it will continue to protest by enforcing ASEAN highway-1 bandh (Moreh-Imphal route) from Saturday (April 29, 2023) until justice is delivered. “However, the bandh will not cover essential services such as medical, electricity, water supply, religious service, those going to the airport and Government security forces,” it added.
The JAC appealed to the general public “to bear the inconvenience” and sought cooperation.
The statement said the close examination of Seiminthang Lupho’s dead body revealed it was a clear case of murder. The body bore several injuries and it can be presumed beyond doubt that the victim was done to death before it was dumped into the stream thrown from the bridge. The postmortem report too confirmed murder, it claimed.
It expressed displeasure at the district magistrate’s order imposing restrictions under section 144 CrPC. It said the order is an arbitrary use of power instead of delivering justice. “I will do more harm than good,” it said.
“What is the Government for in a democratic country?! Here, democracy is waning and disappearing slowly. The victim was butchered and dumped like an animal. Doesn’t this call for protest from all corners irrespective of whatever community one belongs to?” said the JAC.