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Residents’ plea for justice

- Thangmeiband calls for action against army officers

Imphal, May 2: After filing a petition in Manipur High Court, residents of the Thangmeiband area here renewed their demand for action against the army personnel involved in the alleged abduction and killing of three Manipuri youths in Dimapur four years ago.

Women activists of Thangmeiband yesterday staged a sit-in at the local playground to renew their demand for trial and punishment of those involved in the killings.

Yesterday’s sit-in marked the second phase of the agitation in connection with the case.

After army authorities failed to act, Phijam Manikumar — the brother of Phijam Naobi from Thangmeiband, who was one of the victims — filed a petition before Manipur High Court on April 26 demanding the trial of vice-chief of army staff Lt Gen. Dalbir Singh Suhag and Col Govindan Shreekumar.

Lt Gen. Suhag was the general officer commanding the 3 Corps at Dimapur and Col Shreekumar was the commandant of the intelligence unit of the 3 Corps at the time of the incident.

The petition listed the two officers as respondents, alleging that the two were involved in the killing of the three youths.

According to the petition, the three victims — Naobi, R.K. Roshan also known as Ronald and Thounaojam Prem also known as Romen — were abducted from Dimapur on March 10, 2010, and allegedly killed by personnel of the 3 Corps.

The bodies were recovered from a river at Lakhijan, under Bokajan police station, of Assam on March 17 the same year.

The petition cited two letters, written on March 2010 and January 2012, by Maj. T. Ravi Kumar — who was then the second-in-command of the intelligence unit — to Eastern Command with copies to the army chief and GOC 3 Corps.

The letters allegedly complained about the abduction and killing of three Manipuri youths by some army personnel inside 3 Corps.

A division bench of Manipur High Court, comprising acting Chief Justice Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra and Justice Nongmeikappam Kotiswar, had heard the petition on April 28 and postponed the hearing till May 5.

“The vice-chief of army staff and Col Shreekumar should be tried and punished accordingly. No promotion should be given to the two army officers before the high court gives its final verdict in the case,” Hodam Dorikanta Singh, a spokesman for the protesters, said.

Yesterday’s sit-in was organised by Apunba Naharol Yaipha Thousil Kanglup, a citizens’ organisation of Thangmeiband.

Singh said Thangmeiband would continue its democratic agitation until the three victims got justice.


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