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Rebels gun down Manipur woman official inside office

Imphal, Nov. 14: Militants today gunned down a woman employee of Manipur’s social welfare department inside her office in Moirang in Bishnupur district, leaving terrified colleagues and a bewildered boss in their wake.

Police said two armed men came to the Moirang office of the child development project and fired on the 50-year-old project officer, Y. Raseshwori Devi.

She was immediately taken to a nearby health centre, where she died of her wounds.

One bullet had pierced the head.

The militant Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) late tonight claimed responsibility for the killing, saying she was punished for her corrupt ways.

The outfit merely confirmed what the officials of the department told the police that they suspect the KCP (Military Council), the group that attacked the private residences of social welfare minister N. Loken Singh and director Achom Nabachandra Singh, to be behind the attack.

“The KCP (Military Council) had threatened to target all those close to the social welfare minister and director.

Apart from this threat, we do not see any other reason for attacking an elderly woman officer,” an official told a police investigating team.

The outfit charged the minister and the official of being involved in the irregularities in the recent appointment of supervisors of the department.

All the project officials — a majority of them are women — rushed to the headoffice in Imphal fearing for their lives after news of the killing spread.

The department has 38 project officers all over the state and Raseshwori Devi reportedly left Imphal for her office at 8am to announce the list of newly-selected Anganwadi workers and helpers in her block.

“We have asked our colleagues in the block offices to come to Imphal as we all are soft targets now. We cannot work under these circumstances. We have to stop all child welfare programmes,” a terrified woman officer said.

All the dazed employees huddled at the entrance after the main gate was locked. Armed policemen were seen making enquiries.

The director, Achom Nabachandra Singh, rushed to the office in the afternoon. “I do not know what to say. We are shocked and stunned.”

Chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh later reviewed the law and order scenario with senior police officials.

Sources said militants had gunned down Raseshwori’s husband Brajagopal, a panchayat pradhan, a few years back for reasons still not known.

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