`Guards of CM`s nephew detained minister Irabot for four hours`

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IMPHAL, Jan 27: Pre-voting tension rose to such height in volatile Wangkhei constituency on eve of assembly elections that an additional SP of Imphal East district drove down to the residence of minister Y Irabot this evening to ask him to deposit his license gun as a precautionary measure.

Irabot reportedly refused to comply with the request of the police officer citing that he envisage such a step will endanger his life. The officer left the residence of the Congress candidate immediately afterward.

The intervention from the police followed yet another street show-down between the minister’s supporters and those of Okram Henry, his rival MSCP candidate and nephew of chief minister O Ibobi, this time involving the former’s son Rohsho.

Earlier in the day, both parties accused the other of shoving guns at their workers and issuing threats on their lives preceding a 4- hour long face-off at Tandal Pukhri in Mantripukhri. Incidentally, neither side has registered any case with the police so far.

Henry’s workers claimed Rohsho himself thrust a small fire-arm at one of them. The refutation came promptly from Irabot’s side when his supporters contradicted the charges and insisted that it was two guards of Henry who threatened Rohsho and his companions and physically assaulted a local by brandishing pistols after the duo was asked to give an explanation on the reason for following their vehicles in a suspicious manner. A tussle ensued between them with both sides remonstrating which temporarily subsided after Henry’s security guards fled the scene when they show Irabot and his cavalcade approaching, claimed a Congress worker who accompanied Rohsho.

Rohsho and nine men were traveling in two vehicles to a house in Tandal Pukhri as an advance team ahead of his father who was retreating to house in the area to take a break from the hectic campaign before tomorrow’s poll. 

However, the Congress worker continued, when the team was about to leave along with the minister they found 15-20 security guards blocking their passage. A tense situation prevailed and no relief was in sight even after a strong team of Heingang police headed by the office-in-charge himself arrived.

According to Congress workers, they were forcefully detained in the house for around four hours and wondered how the large team of police failed miserably to disperse the MSCP’s candidate’s guard. They claimed that during their period in detention they contacted Imphal East SP and helpline of the Election Commission among others but to no avail.

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