IMPHAL, May 29: Allegations and counter allegations have emerge in connection with the firing incident that occurred late last night at Maring Lane, Imphal East district involving a senior cabinet Minister Y. Irabot and O. Henry a social worker and nephew of the state Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh.
The Women folk of Maring Lane Women Society alleged that at least three women were assaulted by the senior minister with his bare hands besides kicking a woman in the abdomen before resorting to blank firing in the air.
A press conference was held in this connection at Maring Lane today where the chairperson of the Women Society narrated the incident to media persons.
The chairperson who wanted to remain anonymous due to obvious reasons stated that the initial incident erupted following an assault case between a tenant and a land lord, wherein the landlady identified as only Lucy had assaulted her tenant Khambi, 15, d/o S Korung of Phunal Maring.
According to one Asem who identified herself as a relative of the tenant and staying at the same locality, while stating to mediapersons asserted that on hearing about Khambi`™s`™s abuse by her landlady and subsequent admission at JNIMS for treatment, she along with another friend visited Lucy`™s place to take account of the incident.
She further stated that, Lucy the landlady however denied the charges when she enquired about the incident.
Sensing something wrong and as the matter was still unclear, she deedmed it fit to take Khambi`™s elder brother Samuel and his wife who were presently staying with Khambi at present, back to their native place along with her, she further stated.
She further alleged that even as she was taking the two along with her, minster Y Irabot waylaid them, and his escort forcefully took Samuel with them.
Meanwhile back at Maring lane, the women folk of the area who were already alarmed with the commotion at Lucy`™s house, came out to the street, added the chairperson of the Women Society.
She further stated that the minister and the local MLA soon after his arrival attempeted to disperse the women folk gathered at the roadside and even manhandled some of the women folk in trying to do so.
The chairperson further contended that, the minister even fired several rounds in the air.
According to the chairperson, the victim who were allegedly assaulted by the minister are identified as R. Sangkhambi, 28, w/o R. Korung, Uleidar, 30, w/o U. Mopham both from Phunal Maring and KB Shanti, 32, w/o KB. Kothang of Maring Lane.
Decrying the incident the chairperson has strongly condemned the incident and termed it as a disregard of women rights. It questioned the right of the minister to assault women and interfering in family matters.
Appealing the authority concerned to intervene into the matter the chairperson opined that Irabot is not fit to be an MLA.
On the other hand, a press conference was held in connection with the issue at the residence of industry minister, Y. Irabot, today.
The minister while accusing O Henry, nephew of Chief Minister O Ibobi for trying to kidnap two members of a family at Maring Lane and further blame him and his security for yesterdays`™ gun shots at Maring Lane.
He maintained that a team led by a social worker identified as one, O. Henry tried to kidnap two members of a family at Maring Lane, who are active workers of the congress, in connection with the recently conducted IMC election.
He further maintained that on receiving the reports he personally rushed to the scene and rescue the two from them wherein provoking the firing incident.
He further blamed O. Henry and his security as the main cause of the incident and further alleged that they have been unleashing harassment and atrocities on congress workers in the constituency.
Speaking to media persons during the meet the senior minister also expressed his concern over the irrelevant issue of gun license to the public in large number adding that it is similar to encouraging killing each other.
Terming the act as a trend of releasing a gun culture, the minister held that the main reason behind the incident was the irrelevant issuing of gun license and further expressed the need to probe into the matter to deliver justice.