Post June 27 firing, Nungei locals flee

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IMG_9248-735x400IMPHAL, Jul 3: As tension continued to grip Nungei area after the death of a boy in a firing incident that occurred on June 27, residents of one Nungei village fled their homesteads in large numbers and took shelter at Lilong Chajing and Iram Siphai today.
The strife between the two neighbouring villages began after 14 persons were injured when some youths fired indiscriminately on a group of Meira Paibis on April 11 night.
The JAC constituted against the incident has been demanding action against the youth involved in the incident.
On June 27, two group of people violently confronted against each other by pelting stones. In the melee, a boy died after he was hit by a bullet coming from an unknown direction on his head.
Since then, people have been living with fear and insecurity in the village.
According to information culled from the spot, residents of one Nungei village started fleeing the village from around 7 am today by crossing the bailey bridge that connects Nungei with Lilong Chajing as the Government failed to respond positively to the demands of the JAC constituted against the firing on Meira Paibis.
Some villagers brought their cattle apart from their belongings and took shelter at the community hall of Lilong Chajing and Iram Siphai.
The village looked deserted due to the mass exodus. Personnel of Thoubal district police and CRPF were seen deployed in the village.
Soon after the villagers reached Lilong Chajing, Singjamei police station OC Ingocha, Imphal West SP Dr AK Jhalajit and ADC/ADM Imphal West came to the area to take stock of the situation.
Later, a meeting was held at the office of Lilong Nagar Panchayat in the presence of Dr AK Jhalajit, Langthabal AC MLA Karam Shyam, ADM/ADC Imphal West, members of Lilong Nagar Panchayat, Nungei Meitei JAC members and local club members.
Although, the meeting lasted for around 2 hours, no understanding could be reached.
After the meeting JAC convenor told reporters that the Government has failed to take any action against the culprits who injured 14 persons on April 11 night despite JAC’s repeated requests.
He said that a boy died in an unfortunate firing incident even as the JAC was trying to resolve the matter on June 27 last.
After the incident, tension gripped the village and they were unable to go to their paddy fields and set their cattle free, he said.
After the incident, IRB personnel had also been pulled out from the area.
He said that although some CRPF and police commando personnel are deployed round the clock, some groups of people belonging to another community armed with guns and machetes kept on entering their houses and intimidated them.
Around 15 families who are staying in the secluded Nungei Thungkhong hill village had not returned after the incidents of June 26 and 27 and taken shelter at safer places.
As such, they were also compelled to leave their village due to insecurity from today, he said.
He also stated that the JAC has only two demands before the Government — action against the youth who injured 14 persons on April 11 night and opening of a permanent security outpost at Nungei.
The convenor further said that they would never return to their village until adequate security is provided to the villagers.
He further said that it was unfortunate to boycott Meiteis by the Muslims as their agitations and demands were not against the Muslim community but against the three culprits who injured 14 persons.

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