Panthou’ followers blame State Govt

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IMPHAL, May 3 : Some followers of Hijam Ratan alias Panthou of Wangkhei Hijam Leirak have blamed the Government’s failure to intervene on time for the arson and violence that took place at Ratan’s residential compound yesterday.
Speaking to media persons at Manipur Press Club today, the Jagoi Salai Shang functionary Ningthemchamayum Ibenu said that some local people asked a girl as to why she was staying at Panthou’s premises for such a long time.
The girl replied that she could not leave the place as she was prevented from leaving the place by some local people.
It was this statement of the girl which sparked violence and arson yesterday, Ibenu said.
She then questioned as to why some local people were furious when the girl spoke the truth.
She said that seven followers of Panthou including three women were injured in the violence.
One Surjagoro of Waiton who was injured in the melee decried that resorting to violence for a land dispute was condemnable.
Even though the State Government was informed about the volatile situation, the Government did not do anything to settle the matter before violence broke out.
Had the Government intervened and settled the dispute in time, no untoward incident would have happened, he rued.
Sanjenbam (O) Prabha of Kongpal Kongkham Leikai, another injured victim said that one Hijam Nungshitombi w/o Hijam Moba came and asked for monetary assistance from Panthou to repay some debts.
With the intention to help the woman, followers of Panthou contributed money and the amount thus collected was handed over to Nungshitombi.
But it turned out that the amount was not enough to repay the debt completely. Subsequently, Nungshitombi sold a piece of their plot to Panthou for Rs 17 lakh.
The violence erupted only after the money exchanged hands, Prabha said.
She then urged authorities concerned to book all the culprits involved in the violence and arson.

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