|Momoco breaks down during the protest in Imphal. File picture
Imphal, Jan. 4: The Manipur unit of the BJP today urged the state government to send a joint delegation to the Centre to seek handover of the Momoco molest case accused NSCN (I-M) cadre P.R. Livingstone once he was arrested so that he could be tried in the state.
The state government cannot arrest an NSCN (I-M) cadre as the outfit is bound by a ceasefire agreement and is having peace parleys with the Centre.
Livingstone allegedly molested Manipuri film actress Momoco during a music concert in the Chandel district headquarters on December 18, triggering violent protests in Manipur valley and the artiste community and civil society organisations demanding his arrest. A freelance TV journalist was also killed when police opened fire to control a violent mob during the protests.
The government convened an all-party meeting on December 25 to discuss the situation arising out the incident. Altogether 25 parties attended the meeting that was presided over by chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh. A resolution was adopted to send a joint political delegation to New Delhi to apprise UPA leaders about the situation and also to urge Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde to hand over Livingstone to the state government after his arrest.
The state government had convened the meeting after its own efforts to arrest Livingstone did not bear fruit. A cash reward of Rs 5 lakh was also announced for anyone who could provide information about him.
The BJP demand came today after the state government failed to act on the resolution to send the joint delegation to Delhi.
“The government had convened the all-party meeting that resolved to send a joint political delegation to Delhi but it is now silent on the matter though 10 days have elapsed. We demand the resolution be implemented,” Manipur unit BJP president Th. Chaoba Singh said today.
He said the non-Congress parties had already met thrice after December 25 and though the Congress had been invited, it had not turned up. He said non-Congress parties would meet again tomorrow to discuss the government’s silence and whether a delegation without the Congress could go to Delhi or not.
The non-Congress parties feel that without the ruling Congress, the Prime Minister and the Union home minister would not give much weightage to such a delegation. “If a political delegation without the Congress is not going to be effective it is better not to send it. All these issues would be discussed during tomorrow’s meeting,” he said.
Chaoba Singh also demanded setting up of fast-track courts in Manipur for trial of rape and molestation cases as was done in Delhi and some other states. “The Ibobi Singh government should set up fast-track courts and also open helplines for speedy trial of crimes against women and assist victims to seek legal recourse.”