IMPHAL, Sep 4: Desperate villagers of Mapao Khullen under Saikul sub-division, Senapati district are under intense pressure and apprehension owing to imposition of quit notice to the villagers by armed miscreants.
As per information collected from the spot the threat for vacating the villages was served by armed persons suspected to be KCP (MC) militants subsequent upon an allegation leveled upon the villagers of being informers of the security forces.
According to M. Khavangpam, Headman of the village, on August 31 around 8:30 pm armed miscreants numbering about eight came to Mapao Khullen where they called out all the men folk from the village and lined them up in front of a bus stand at the village. The armed miscreants with an allegation stating that the villagers were informers of security forces made them lie on the ground facing the ground and started thrashing all the men of the villager indiscriminately.
He said that even the pastor of the village who tried to intervene into the matter was mercilessly kicked on the face by the armed miscreants.
After the thrashing was over the armed persons also collected about eight mobile phones from the villagers and served an intense threat to vacate the village within five days failing which they warned of dire consequences, adds Khavangpam.
Further, the sources said that the precise reason behind the incident was frequent visit of police commandos since a few days back before the incident for which the armed persons blamed the villagers to be informers of the security personnel.
Reports said that since the incident took place in the area four students and a teacher (who was among the victims of the armed miscreants) of a nearby hostel, Niti Home, have left the area.
The Mapao Khullen village houses about 300 persons who are now reeling under extreme pressure and apprehension following the incident.
The desperate villagers disclosed that they were not in a condition to leave their village even though fear grips them, especially the women and children. The villagers are left with no option but to gather every evening at the Church and pray for their safety, said M. Sungkhai (pastor of the village).
Sungkhai appealed to the concerned party to withdraw their threat on the village and grant an opportunity to clear the misunderstanding on humanitarian grounds.
A team of the United Committee Manipur (UCM) led by its Vice president, Y. Nabachandra who visited the village with a team of media persons consoled the villagers this evening.
Nabachandra while condemning the act of harassing innocent civilians without any evident condition, appealed to the concerned party to withdraw their extreme stand and avoid such incidents in the future. He also said that such mindless acts are a grave danger to the communal harmony of the state.
A press conference was also held earlier today in connection with the incident at the MBC conference hall organized by the All Manipur Christian Organisation. The convener said that the conference was held following a fact finding team’s visit to the village this morning along with members of HERICOUN, DESAM and Peace Core Team Manipur.
The team appealed to the concerned armed groups to immediately withdraw the threats so that normalcy could be restored in the village and for school going children. It also asked for sorting out of whatever differences or misunderstandings if any, with the village authority in an amicable manner through discussions. The team further appealed to all concerned, state, non-state actors, civil society and human rights organization to support and co-operate in preventing such actions against the civilians in future to maintain peaceful co-existence and social harmony among the communities in the state.