IMPHAL, December 19: Renowned Manipuri film actress Momoko Khangembam was allegedly molested, beaten up by a man identifying himself as an NSCN (IM) cadre during a music concert at Chandel High School Ground, Chandel organized by the Mahamani Women Society, Chandel.
The actress along with several other film actors, singers and representatives of the organizers Mahamani Women Society called a press conference this evening at the Film Forum Manipur office.
Speaking at the press conference the actress said, the incident happened around 7:30pm of December 18 while she was attending a concert organized by the Mahamani Women Society at Chandel along with other actors and singers of the state.
The concert was organized as a fund raiser for the local club, she said.
Speaking to media persons, secretary of Mahamani Youth Club, Rose corroborated with Momoco and said that the incident happened at around 7:30 pm last night when the musical concert was in full swing.
She identified the man who allegedly assaulted and molested the actress as NSCN (IM) cadre Livingstone, 40 from Zaphou village.
She said, the man came to the concert bringing several small arms with him in an inebriated condition.
Rose also said that she had herself introduced the man to the actress and the other artists.
She continued that Livingstone had also fired two rounds in the air after going out to the ground and started spraying the liquor he was holding.
Elaborating further, she said Livinstone had arrived at Chandel just a few days back though he usually stays out of town and added that after firing the rounds in the air at the ground, he came back and assaulted the victim.
As of now the matter has not been reported to the police nor did the police came to investigate the incident, she said.
The organisers will convene a meeting with the village chiefs of the area in regard to the incident, she said.
Meanwhile, Momoko who was visibly weeping said that after introducing the fifth artist of the night to the crowd, she came into the backstage and was sitting with some friends when Livingstone came in and touched her and asked if she is Momoco the Manipuri film actor.
She replied in the affirmative and said they were introduced a little time back, Momoco said.
However the man continued to harass her at which she went near her mother and complained, she said.
Momoco continued that following her mother’s complaint, the organizers went out of the room and few second later Livingstone came in and pull her down from the chair she was sitting on to the ground and started kicking her in an inhuman manner without saying a word.
No one present came to her rescue, she said.
According to another artist Prakash Soraisam, who was also at the concert, Livingstone attempted to take his life by shooting at him, which he missed by only about an inch.
He said that the beating happened while he was performing on the stage and as soon as he came to know about the incident, he came in to the backstage and found Momoco lying on the ground.
When he asked Livingstone the reason behind his act, Livingstone push him and shot at him which he missed by an inch, he alleged.
After the firing, Livingstone was taken away by the locals from the scene. Even as the locals try to calm him he fired another bullet pointing towards Actor Guna, who was on staged at the time, he said.
Some police personnel were present when the incident happened but they remained as silent spectators, he complained.
Speaking to media persons, Film Forum Manipur president, L Surjakanta said that the forum will urged the state government to arrest accused Livingstone in the earliest and award him with befitting punishment according to the law f the land.
The incident has proved that there is no law and order in the state as it happened in front of police personal, the film forum president said.
He further demanded punishment for the police personnel, who were present at time when the incident happened.
Meanwhile, decrying the alleged incident, several artists from the Manipuri film fraternity took out a rally to submit a memorandum to the state Chief Minister, this late evening.
The rally was however cut short by the police in front of the CC Higher Secondary School by the state police. Placards reading “Has GOI given permission to NSCN (IM) to create lawlessness in Manipur”, “Two rounds of shots to Artists by NSCN (IM) is an act of cowardice”, “We condemned the barbaric act”.
Later on the police allowed a team comprising of Momoko, singer Prakash and actor Hemanta submit the memorandum to the Chief Minister.
The Manipur film fraternity has demanded action against the alleged culprit.