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Protest threat over Manipur accident

Imphal, Feb. 2: The Tangkhul community in Imphal today threatened to launch an agitation over a hit-and-run case, allegedly involving a VIP vehicle, in which a schoolteacher was killed in December.

M. Awungshi Nganaongai, a headmaster from Ukhrul, was hit by a vehicle with a red beacon and flagpost while he was crossing the road at Kabaw Leikai in Imphal on December 18 night.

Nganaongai succumbed to injuries at a private hospital the next day.

Eyewitnesses claimed the vehicle sped away and entered the high security Kangla Fort through the northern gate and that it was a VIP vehicle. The vehicle had no security escort.

Members of the Tangkhul community, including students’ organisations, staged a sit-in in front of Tangkhul Baptist Church in Imphal to demand identification of the driver and the occupants of the VIP vehicle.

Today’s sit-in was organised by Tangkhul Katamnao Long, Imphal (a students’ organisation) and other organisations of the community also took part. The sit-in came after a memorandum submitted by Tangkhul Katamnao Long, Imphal, to chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh on January 14 failed to evoke any positive response. The memorandum set an ultimatum for January 25 to find the vehicle and the occupants.

The Tangkhul community is demanding Rs 5 lakh as compensation, a government job to the next of kin of the deceased and also punishment of the culprits. “There are eyewitnesses who saw the VIP vehicle entering Kangla Fort after hitting my brother. The security guards manning the gates of the fort can easily identify the vehicle and its occupants. However, the police are not doing enough to identify and arrest them,” V.S. Athei, younger brother of the deceased, said.

Pamreiso Raiping, the president of Tangkhul Katamnao Long, Imphal today warned that the Tangkhul organisations in Imphal would launch an agitation if the demands were not met.