CM team pulls out of Ukhrul sans inaugurations

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Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and other ministers interact with police officials at the Ukhrul helipad
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and other ministers interact with police officials at the Ukhrul helipad

Two jawans hurt in firing & blast, two vehicles torched.

Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and his team members including Deputy chief minister Gaikhangam who landed here at Pakshi ground today return to Imphal without accomplishing scheduled inauguration of various infrastructures in the district as they were faced with strong opposition from the public.

In the ensuing violence that erupted following burning of security forces vehicles by the angry volunteers which was followed by firing of live bullets from unknown quarters one jawan belonging to 6th Manipur rifle Ukhrul, identified as William Tarao was hit by a bullet at his left abdomen and right arm. He was taken to district hospital for further treatment.

The incident occurred at 10: 30 am which lasted for around 10 to 15 minutes.

They spent exactly 1 hour at Pakshi ground amid tight security covers. The road stretch from district hospital new buildings where inauguration programme was to take place till Pakshi ground Hunpung where they were stationed were set ablaze with tyres and choc-a-block by scores of volunteers making the forward movement impossible.

In another incident, an Indian Reserve Battalion Jawan identified as D Milan Maring who was guarding the district hospital new buildings was hit at right thigh when a powerful lethode exploded at 12: 30 midnight, reliable sources said. He was referred to Imphal. Also at around 3: 30 am yet another blast rocked the district town.

As the chopper carrying CM team members hovers and landed the ground, and as they were to take off after spending 1 hour, angry volunteers set ablaze one Tata sumo and gypsy of police forces which was followed by heavy firing in between shots from unknown quarters at Pakshi ground.

The high level team led by Chief Minister comprised of Deputy CM Gaikhangam, I Hemochandra Singh, DK Korungthang, MK Preshow Shimray, Victor Keishing and K Govindas was here for inauguration of newly constructed offices, banks and power sub-stations in the district.

The visiting team touched down the helipad at Pakshi ground Hungpung, some few distance from district hospital new buildings at 9:30.

At Chingai just when they were to land, it flew off sans stopping and left for State capital Imphal.

The incident happened as the TNL public curfew came into effect since Sunday to protest against the high octane visit to Ukhrul district.

TNL, the apex Tangkhul body has signalled its stand to protest and oppose the scheduled visit of Chief Minister and his legislatures including M.K. Preshow Shimray, deputy speaker Manipur legislative assembly and Victor Keishing, Parliamentary secretary to Ukhrul district.

Meanwhile, TNL president W. Zimik said for the last couple of days preparation is underway not to allow CM and his team members from visiting Ukhrul and added that local youth volunteers numbering around 700 were engaged to expedite the civil protest.

He wondered how on earth explosion takes place under a tight security, referring specifically to wee hour blasts, while strongly condemning the blasts and firing incident where two jawans were injured.

The 24 hour public curfew ended today evening.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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