The verdict of the high profile case against the murder of Dr Thingnam Kishan, Yumnam Token and Aribam Rajen has been given. Hopeson Ningshen, a self-styled lieutenant colonel of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isac-Muivah) has been convicted of murder by the special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation at Patiala House Court, New Delhi. Hopeson has been awarded life imprisonment. It was in the year 2009; Dr Kishan was then serving as a Sub Divisional Officer at Kashom Khulen under Ukhrul District. Investigation report reveals that Dr Kishan along with his two staff Y Token and A Rajen were kidnapped by the cadres of NSCN-IM near the Hungdung Gate in the afternoon of February 13, 2009. Dr Kishan had a meeting with the then District Commissioner of Ukhrul, Pankaj Kumar Pal on the morning of the same day. As per the report, the cadres of the NSCN – IM followed the trio from the DC office till Hungdung, which indicates that the cadres had a prior knowledge about the meeting at DC office. While the family of Dr Kishan have been holding the view that there is high likelihood of the then DC’s involvement in the murder, the CBI however has ruled out that possibility. Dr Kishan’s father not contented with the finding particularly with the DC and his probable involvement in the heinous crime, has approached the law court, pleading that the DC should be equally punished if he is found guilty. For that, we shall wait for the law to take its course.
The lifeless bodies of the three were found on February 17 wee hours morning at Taphou Kuki village under the Lukhrabi Bridge of Senapati District. That was on the fourth day after the kidnapping. Three of them were bludgeon to death, beyond recognition with their hands tied behind their back. It is important to recall that Dr Kishan’s family was quick to point out the possible involvement of NSCN – IM cadres behind the killing. Dr Kishan when he was alive had shared to his family members that there was active presence of the cadres of NSCN – IM in Ukhrul District. That the outfit’s influences were evident in most of the governmental works taken up in that area. The then Joint Action Committee formed against the killing, taking cue from the family’s standpoint, since its formation had maintained that the NSCN – IM cadres were involved in the crime, and that they must be punished according to the law of the land. It is also important to note that the outfit had initially tried to wash off their hands from the murder. The JAC was firm with their stand, and moreover there was mounting pressure from the public with agitations on the streets seen everywhere. Both in the valley and the hills, the spread and the scale of agitation was perhaps unprecedented. The NSCN – IM had to finally accept the involvement of its cadre, Hopeson, who gave the execution order to three other cadres namely: Abo Shibo, Johnny and Ashang. According to CBI the first two are still at large and the later has been claimed to have expired. The JAC must be congratulated for their stand to take the fight till the end. Their pointed demand was for punishing the malefactor; neither ex-gratia money nor jobs to the kin of the victims were included in their demand. The victims’ families should also be appreciated for their faith on the collective wisdom of the JAC members – though nothing on earth can replace their loss, even after the verdict.
Leader Writer: Senate Kh