Imphal, Aug. 5: The disappearance of an Imphal contractor in Ukhrul district more than two months back may snowball into a major problem for Okram Ibobi Singh government with citizen bodies gearing up for a statewide agitation.
A joint action committee formed by residents of Nongdam, the missing contractor’s village in Imphal East, today held consultations with human rights groups and citizen organisations here to chalk out the course of agitation.
The co-convener of the action committee, Takhellambam Ramanda, told reporters after the meeting that the committee decided to launch a series of agitation with support from citizens’ bodies to protest against the state government’s failure to find the whereabouts of the missing contractor.
Irungbam Irabanta, 38, disappeared after he left home on May 27 for a trip to Ukhrul district and his whereabouts could not be known till today.
A complaint lodged by Madhubala Devi, wife of the contractor, with Lamlai police station in Imphal East, said Irabanta left home on May 27 saying he would be meeting NSCN (I-M) cadres in Ukhrul over some matters and left in a Maruti Gypsy.
Irabanta sent an SMS to his wife the next morning, informing her that he was negotiating with two NSCN (I-M) cadres. After that there was no communication between Irabanta and his home as his cell phone was switched off in the afternoon of May 28.
The Okram Ibobi Singh government constituted a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Ukhrul superintendent of police K. Kabib but the disappearance of the contractor remained a mystery. The Gypsy, too, is yet to be recovered.
Police said delay in reporting the matter made it difficult for them to trace him. The missing report was filed only on June 8.
Civil organisations in Ukhrul also appealed for the safe release of the contractor if anyone or any organisation was holding him.
Among the organisations that took part in today’s consultations were Committee on Human Rights, United Committee Manipur and Etho Heritage Council.