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Safety steps for legislators

- Gaikhangam asks MLAs to inform cops ahead of trips

Imphal, Feb. 27: Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam urged all legislators and ministers to report to the police department before leaving the Greater Imphal limit for their safety.

Gaikhangam, also the home minister, gave this advisory on the floor of the Assembly today while giving a progress report of the investigation into killing of Manipur People’s Party vice-president Haobijam Manisana.

Unidentified gunmen killed Manisana, 63, at Changangei Uchekon, near Imphal airport, 3km south of Imphal, while he was driving from his Bishnupur district home to the party office in Imphal on November 13.

Gaikhangam said police arrested the main culprit, identified as Yumnam Mani alias Nanao, 34, a resident of Thoubal district in January.

Mani, who is in jail, is a former cadre of Kangleipak Communist Party (Nongdrenkhomba).

Mani joined United Revolutionary Front (URF), led by Heisnam Binodhor alias Lemba, 44, of Thanga in Bishnupur district. He confessed that he carried out the attack following instructions from Heisnam Binodhor alias Lemba. The police were trying to arrest Lemba, the home minister said. “We will definitely get him.”

“Following intelligence inputs of threats from a militant organisation, Manisana was asked to report to the district police about his movements for clearing his routes. However, that day Manisana did not give any report to the police,” Gaikhangam said, adding that if the police were informed, he could have been saved.

The home minister said in view of threat perceptions, all ministers, MLAs and senior government officials were provided security guards with strengths more than that provided in any other states.

“We will provide additional security escorts if required for ministers and MLAs when they go for trips beyond the Greater Imphal area. Even without the additional security escorts, police team would be deployed along the route of movements and police stations would be alerted to prevent trouble,” Gaikhangam said.

Ibohalbi Singh of Trinamul Congress, who raised the issue of threats to MLAs in view of the law and order situation, told the House that he was receiving threats and intimidations through telephone calls and text messages regularly.

“The ministers and MLAs have become potential targets,” Ibohalbi Singh said.

In a related development, Manipur Peoples’ Party spokesperson H. Nabashyam demanded a detailed report from the state government and Union home ministry on the progress of the investigation into the Manisana case.

“Why was our vice-president killed? What is the motive? Who were involved in the conspiracy to kill him? Would they remain silent had Manisana been a leader of the Congress or the BJP? The state government and the home ministry should come clean with all these information,” Nabashyam told reporters.


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