IMPHAL, Sept 10: The Sadar Hills District-hood Demand Committee (SHDDC) has submitted a petition to the GOC 57 Mountain Division, Leimakhong urging him to take punitive action against the erring officers of the 43 Assam Rifles allegedly involvement in meeting out various form of atrocities against the agitating locals of Sadar hills area.
In the written statement signed by the SHDDC president, Ngamkhohao Haokip and general secretary, Tonghen Kipgen, informed the GOC that they have been spearheading, various forms public movement in different forms of agitations viz. General Strike, Economic Blockade, Hunger Strike, etc. as a form of pressurising the State Government of Manipur to meet our rightful demand of full-fledged District-hood of Sadar Hills as per ‘Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Act, 1971 (Parliament Act No. 76 of 1971, 26 December 1971)’, which has been pending for the last 39 years.
In the course of the agitations, the commanding officer of 43 Assam Rifles along with two of his subordinates-Major Anish Kutoch of Kangpokpi Post and Major Bhavish of Motbung Post and two of his jawans interfered with local issue in an unjustifiable manner uncalled for, it alleged.
It further alleged that the officers have forcibly been bringing civilian loaded trucks on the pretext of being ASC/AHT. It recalled that on the first instance, a truck ferrying Sandalwood was claimed by the said officers as belonging to Army Supply. It was burnt down. In subsequent instances, many vehicles claimed to have been carrying Army supply are found to be loaded with beetel leaf (Pan Patta), fermented fish (Ngari), two wheelers and items which are not at all related to Army supply. It is learnt from drivers that the said officers accept bribe money of Rs. 20,000 per vehicle for safe passage of such vehicles.
Moreover the officers used rifles and sticks to beat up women agitators leading to injuries to more than 70 women so far on several occasions, molested young ladies, abused and physically thrown them down in gorges, it alleged.
It further asserted that the officers even threatened women agitators that the lives of their husbands, themselves and all male members of their families will be exterminated after the agitation.
Despite negotiation with the chiefs of Motbung area on August 31 at Gamgiphai village wherein the CO promised transfer of the two Majors no action has been taken adding it draws the GOC’s attention to take immediate action on the unruly officers as per law of the esteemed organisation and transfer them from Sadar Hills.
It further requested the GOC to ensure that 43 AR should not interfere with local political issue.