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AR World Cup celebration leaves one dead

Imphal, April 03: Personnel of the 15 Assam Rifles posted at Tomching hillock, Thoubal near Chaoyaima Higher Secondary School, celebrating the victory of India winning World Cup yesterday night fired several rounds of ammunitions resulting one of the stray bullet allegedly fired by the AR hitting an old woman sleeping inside her residence and killing her.
The woman identified as  Waikhom (O) Mani (70) w/o (L) Waikhom Baruni of Thoubal Nongangkhong Banom Leirak succumbed to the bullet injury while she was rushed to the hospital. According to family sources, the stray bullet allegedly fired by the AR perforated the roof hit her on the back while she was sleeping on her bed. The AR personnel at the post fired for about half an hour intermittently after the world cup match at around 12:30 am. Mani was found unconscious on her bed and discovered that she was hit on the left side of her back by her daughter in law W. (O) Thaballei (45) and her son W. BishwaKanta(23).
Bullet perforations were also found in the roof of the verandah in residence of Waikhom Manjuri (54), neighbour of the deceased woman. Bullet marks were also found on the roof sheets of the temporary shed constructed in the courtyard of Koijam Tomba (48) of the same locality. Bullet perforations in the roof of Tongbram Budha (58) of Thoubal Mayai Leirak. Stray bullets were also discovered in the residences of Sorokhaibam Borsingh (35), Sorokhaibam Naran (60) and in the residences of five residences in the Nongangkhong Maning Leikai area of Thoubal.
The distance between the 15 AR camp and Nongangkhong is about 800 metres and is beyond the trajectory of ordinary INSAS rifles however it might reach the said spot if fired by an INSAS LMG Bipod, an official of Thoubasl police who wish to be unidentified stated.
An inspection team comprising of Jogeshchandra Haobijam, Additional SP (Ops) Thoubal police, Ningsen Wongrem, Additional SP (LO), Major Vikram and Lt. Col. Prakash of 15 AR conducted a spot inquiry in the area today morning.
A public meeting was held at the Nongangkhong community ground and formed a JAC against the killing of W. Mani Devi of Thoubal Nongangkhong Bamon Leirak. The JAC submitted a memorandum to the Superintendent of Police, Thoubal demanding a judicial inquiry into the incident, removal of the 15 AR post from the present area, termination of the personnel involved in yesterday’s firing incident. Protest demonstrations were held along NH 39 by the JAC stating that the dead body of the deceased W. Mani will not be claimed until their demands are fulfilled. Decrying the incident, hundreds of women staged a sit in protest in Thoubal Bazar.
Protestors tried to block vehicular traffic for about an hour along NH 39 this morning after the incident but later withdrew after local MLA O. Landhoni intervened and allayed the situation.
Meanwhile a press release by the Public Relations Officer of IGAR (South) stated that a complaint was registered by the villagers of Thoubal Bamon Leirak that a resident of the village W (O) Mani was killed due to firing from AR post at Thoubal. The release clarified that approximately about 11:30 PM on April 2, a routine change of guards and pickets took place at the AR post located at Thoubal and during the handing (overtaking) and checking of weapons, a burst was accidentally discharged. The house of the deceased was about 800 metres from the AR post and possibility of the accidental discharge by the weapon and causing the death of W. Mani is being investigated into. The release further stated that full cooperation and assistance is being extended by the AR post to the family of the deceased, police and local people to investigate into the matter.
Residents of Singjamei Chinga area also reported heard firing of bullets from the AR post located at Chinga hillock just after India won the world cup yesterday night.
Later in the evening, representatives of the JAC against the killing of W. Mani met the Chief Minister but failed to come to an agreement to their demands. Post mortem was conducted on the dead body but the body still remained unclaimed when reports last came in.



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