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Ukhrul stages sit-in protest, PREPAK claims responsibility for blast at Gandhi Chowk


Hunphun/Ukhrul Village Authority has demanded the booking of the culprits of those involved in the blast and ex-gratia for four injured victims.

TFM Ukhrul Correspondent/TFM Desk

Hunphun/Ukhrul Village Authority, Hunphun Katamnao Long (HKL), Hunphun Shanao Long (HSL), All Hunphun Tang Association (AHTA) and Hunphun Executive Council (HEC) on Friday staged a sit-in-protest against the bomb blast that left four civilians injured at Gandhi Chowk, Phungreitang, Ukhrul on 25 January.

Meanwhile, the proscribed People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak(PREPAK) on Friday offered an apology and claimed responsibility for the bomb blast that took place at Gandhi Chowk on 25 January. Praying for the speedy recovery of those injured in the blast, the tragic incident was due to an error in the timer set by the Special Task Force A of outfit, said a statement issued by PREPAK publicity officer Mangal Khuman.

A memorandum was submitted by the Hunphun Frontal Organisations to Manipur CM N. Biren Singh through the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul condemning “the act of terrorising innocent civilians” and injuring four and demanding for booking the culprits and ex-gratia for the injured victims.

HKL president Ngaworpei Ragui said, “bombs and bullets do not differentiate the rich or the poor. It is a shame for those authorities who are enforcing law and order in Ukhrul Town. How many bomb explosions do we have to bear until the culprits are identified and booked and action is initiated as per the rules of law of the land. We condemn such activities now and ever. Every right-thinking citizen must come forward and condemn such inhumane activities.”

Hunphun Shanao Long President Agnes Shaiza stated, “Ukhrul is a peaceful town. The place is frequented by tourists from the state and outside. The recent incident has created fear psychosis among the local populace and visitors from outside.”

Action Committee Convenor of AHTA Alungpam Ruivah said, “let us reason together and find a peaceful solution and not resort to bombing and injuring innocent civilians. The government is for the people and has a duty and obligation to safeguard its people.”

TKS president Shimri Raising, while condemning the cowardly act, said, “This could also be a conspiracy by some agencies from the state or central to promulgate and extend the AFSPA at the peaceful area of Ukhrul District.”

Joint Secretary of Hunphun Executive Council, Awung Luikham appealed for the installation of CCTV at various points in Ukhrul Town to check and curb anti-social activities.

President of AHTA, Chonmi Raleng said, “We have been initiating and fighting to make Ukhrul Town a peaceful place where everybody can roam and walk freely without any fear. The incident has greatly shocked and compelled us to condemn such actions.

Secretary of Hunphun/Ukhrul Village Authority W Muirangwo stated that “all localities within the jurisdiction of Hunphun must check the coming and going of visitors at their respective localities. We must be vigilant to maintain peace and tranquillity in Hunphun jurisdiction. Innocent civilians should not be a victim of nefarious acts by some vested groups or individuals.”

All the leaders who spoke in the sit-in protest demanded the identification of the perpetrators and befitting punishment as per the prevailing rule of the law

The delegation from Hunphun Village Authority and Hunphun Frontal Organisations, who proceeded to Mini Secretariat Complex to submit the memorandum, alleged that the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul remarked that the memorandum should not be addressed through his office and insisted on submission of the memorandum through DAK.

The HKL president condemned the attitude and behaviour of the Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul, who made them wait for a long time while trying to submit the memorandum. “The DC did not receive the memorandum in a proper manner as the delegation expected. The DC told the delegation to submit the memorandum through DAK.”

The AHTA president said, “This is the first time we are witnessing a deputy commissioner reading the memorandum and giving corrections to the said memorandum addressed to the CM of Manipur.” “Moreover, during the Republic Day Celebrations 2023, the Deputy Commissioner, in his speech, has never condemned or mentioned the bomb blast that happened on 25 January 2023. It is doubtful whether he was supporting the bomb blast or having no care and concern for the citizens of Ukhrul, else he would have mentioned it in his Republic Day speech,” the AHTA president added.

The All Tangkhul Medicos Association (ATMA) has also come out strongly against the blast incident at Gandhi Chowk injuring civilians, including a doctor. “We urged the concerned authorities to punish those involved at the earliest. We also wish a speedy recovery to all those who are injured, which also includes one of our ATMA members,” stated the release signed by the president of ATMA.

Meanwhile, PREPAK claimed that a series of blasts took place at various locations in Manipur ahead of Republic Day. The outfit triggered a blast near Iron bridge of Khurkhul and Sekmai under Sekmai Police station around 11.30 pm on 25 January and another at Wangkhei Yonglan Leirak Machin around 6.15 pm on 26 January. All three blasts were executed by Special Task Force A, B, and C of the Red Army (PREPAK), the statement claimed.

Besides, the outfit also planted bombs at Kiyamgei Pal Ahanbi on NH 39, Keiroa Langdum Lamkhai under Irilbung Police Station and the roadside of Heingangkhong Pangei-Saikul Road, but did not go off, it added.

The outfit said bombs were planted to scuttle the Republic Day celebrations and show solidarity to boycott call by CORCOM and other like-minded rebel groups.

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