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Opposition backs Ibobi on killer’s trial
The funeral procession of the SDO and his two subordinate staff heads towards a common cremation ground near Cheirap Court in Imphal on Monday. (PTI)

Imphal, Feb. 24: The Opposition Manipur People’s Party today joined the chorus of demands for the handover of the NSCN (I-M) cadres involved in the killing of sub-divisional officer Thingnam Kishan and his two subordinate staff recently.

“We demand that the Centre should first take into custody the accused NSCN (I-M) leaders and hand them over to the Manipur government for trial under the purview of the law of the land,” L. Chandramani Singh, president of the party told reporters today.

The demand came as the joint action committee and Apunba Lup today began their second phase of agitation over the killing of Kishan, his driver Rajen Sharma and chainman Token Singh, who were found murdered in Senapati district on February 17.

A sit-in was staged in greater Imphal area during the curfew relaxation period from 7am to 5pm. The protesters demanded criminal proceedings against the suspended deputy commissioner of Ukhrul, Pankaj Kumar Pal, in connection with the case and also the trial of the accused NSCN (I-M) cadres.

The NSCN (I-M) admitted that the crime was masterminded by self-styled commanding officer of the outfit’s Kiusumong battalion, H. Ningshen, and took the pledge to punish those cadres involved in the crime.

“Given the stand taken by India against terrorism, the Centre should hand over the culprits to the Manipur government for a fair trial because the crime was committed within the geographical boundary of Manipur,” the MPP leader demanded.

Chandramani Singh demanded that chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh should convene an all-political party meeting and send a delegation of the parties to Delhi to press for taking the culprits into custody.

He charged that the triple murder was the fallout of prolonged neglect by the Union home ministry and Manipur government in curbing anti-social activities by NSCN (I-M) cadres in the state.

Chief minister Ibobi Singh has been camping in Delhi since yesterday to take up the triple murder issue with the Union home ministry and other party leaders.

The chief minister is likely to meet home minister P. Chidambaram and defence minister Pranab Mukherjee on the issue, an official source in Delhi said.

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