IMPHAL, May 26: Contradicting the PRO IGAR (S)`™s claim of the army that secretary of Hingajang Village Church was killed in an encounter with underground cadres at B Gamnom formerly known as Hengjang village, Saikul Sub-division under Yairipok Police Station in Senapati district on May 23, chief of the village Henkhothang Kipgen alleged that the church secretary was cold-bloodedly shot in his head by the army while he was lying wounded.
The village chief made the claim during a press meet held at the village yesterday.
He further claimed that the other two persons were killed in indiscriminate firing by a group of army who were already taking positions after the duo tried to flee the area.
Narrating the incident, the village chief said that the church secretary brought two labourers to be engaged in construction of a church on May 22 evening and added that he was not aware of their identities but knew that the two were staying in the house of the church secretary.
On May 23 morning around 9 am, six unidentified Meiteis came to the area where the construction of a church was going on along with villagers and requested the village chief to provide them food which the chief accepted on humanitarian ground and asked his children to arrange food for them.
The six persons were not in camouflage dress but accompanied with a black bag each on their back. Four of them were taking rest at the premise of the house while two were inside the room when a large number of army personnel opened fire indiscriminately from different directions killing three of them including the church secretary, he recounted.
“™The army personnel were requested not to open indiscriminate fire as severe casualties may cause to the innocent villagers but the call was turned down. Even the army jawans threatened to kill me`™`™, the village chief contended.
“™While the church secretary Paokholen was lying badly wounded in pain, some army personnel rushed to him and shot dead cold-bloodedly near a banana tree. Many villagers saw the moment when the army opened fire indiscriminately on the two persons killing them near the gate of the village`™`™, he admitted.
He further said that the army personnel took the dead bodies of the three persons to a vehicle while lamenting that wife of the deceased church secretary was not allowed to identity body of her husband.
Later, the personnel captured a photo of Paokholen on camera and asked the deceased`™s wife whether the person in the photo was of her husband or not, he said.
Taking strong exception to the brutal act of the army, the village chief demanded the government to take up necessary action against the alleged cold-blooded murder of the church secretary.
It may be mentioned that the dead body of Paokholen is being kept at JNIMS morgue though post mortem has been already conducted. Identity of the other two deceased has been established.
They have been identified as Nameirakpam Rajen, 40 son of N Muhindro of Sunusiphai Awang Leikai, Bishnupur district and Maisnam Abungcha, 26 son of M Tombi of Naran Sheina Maning Leikai, Bishnupur district.